Facebook has announced a new metric they will start measuring in order to “improve” the news feed presented to users. In the past they have used things like commenting or liking or sharing a post to help determine what stories may be most relevant to users. Recognizing that some stories may be of interest but do not create any of those actions, Facebook will start measuring the time spent viewing a story to improve the News Feed.
Part of the impetus for this change is a survey Facebook conducted to ask users to rate their experience and share ideas on how it can be improved. As a result of that input, Facebook determined that some users find information to be very interesting and meaningful, but they are not interested in liking or commenting on it.
Facebook indicates the change to start measuring how long users stay on a story or reading comments has already started to rollout and will continue over the next several weeks. Although Facebook does not explain details as to how their measurements will make a distinction, they do indicate that Pages should not expect any significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.