Boon or Bane? Facebook’s New Update will Track Your Actions to Show You Relevant Content

Internet activists and pro-privacy groups have always been screaming hoarse about the grey areas in privacy settings of social media networks. Facebook has lunched many a flame baits with each update to its app and website. The latest update from the Zuckerberg-led social network fuels the fire even further. Or does it?

Facebook has always depended on data from monitoring users to determine the content that is shown in news feeds. Every share, like and comment by user becomes a contributing factor in defining the content shown.

Facebook announced that their latest update will enable Facebook to tailor individual news feeds by tracking user behavior. The latest update that rolled out on Monday aims to provide more relevant content in user news feeds by taking into account actions like turning up sound of a video, viewing it on full screen or using the HD function on videos.

Earlier this month Facebook started using the amount of time spent viewing a story as one of the determining factors for content relevance. So if you spend a lot of time reading about the financial meltdown of the Greek economy, then expect your news feed sprinkled with more financial stories than ever before.

Meihong Wang, the Engineering Manager at Facebook says, “Many people have told us that they enjoy watching videos in News Feed but don’t always feel inclined to like, comment, or share them. For example, you may have found a video from a nonprofit you follow on Facebook to be really informative and you’re glad you saw it, but it’s not something you felt inclined to like, comment on, or share more broadly”.

Now, Facebook will show you more content of similar kind even if you don’t like, share or comment on the video. If you watch it in full screen or HD and if you turn up the volume, Facebook will infer it as relevant content. “We have found that this helps us show people more videos that they are interested in,” Wang wrote.

While the update is supposed to make the user news feed more customized by showing relevant content, it also may upset some sections of users who do not want Facebook to become overbearing and track and monitor every action of theirs.

What’s your take on this new update? Let us know in the comments below.

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