A week or so ago, Facebook announced changes to the news feed algorithm, trying to surface better shared content to users.
Facebook said they have made an "update to News Feed ranking recognizes that people want to see more relevant news and what their friends have to say about it." They want more relevant items in the feed to show up, and fresher comments as well.
Peter from AllThingsD interviewed the News Feed manager Lars Backstrom at Facebook. He asked him about Panda, in which Lars responded:
I’m not totally familiar with the details of Panda. At least from the way you described it, it’s maybe not quite at that scale. But it’s kind of a step in that direction.
Whenever we make a change like this, it has the potential to break some of the strategies employed by people who get distribution on Facebook. My favorite example of this is when you have a photo, and then a very explicit call to action where you say “one like = one respect.”
So, when the text or photo has a call to action, those posts naturally do much better. And in a traditional feed ranking, where we’re evaluating just on the number of likes, those things all did very well.
The funny thing is Matt Cutts tweeted it:
I was wondering if/when Facebook would do something Panda-like: http://t.co/hwRk0uF3Da Optimize for adding value.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) December 6, 2013
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for Panda