Facebook is asking some users to provide information about how well they know the people they are connected to so that the social network can show users more relevant and interesting content.
In a unit on the right sidebar of the site, Facebook asks, “How well do you know [friend’s name]?” Multiple-choice options follow.
This research question is yet another example of how Facebook has been experimenting to improve relevance of the News Feed through algorithms and direct user feedback. As people connect with more pages and people and share more information, whether through mobile updates or Open Graph activity, Facebook must provide a manageable and worthwhile News Feed experience.
In September, Facebook combined the Top News and Recent Stories filters into a single feed. Users can now highlight stories to let Facebook know they want to see more items like those, and they can un-highlight stories they feel Facebook has mistakenly marked as important. With the new subscribe feature, users can also indicate the type of updates they want to see or not see from their friends and people they follow.
While average user will not spend much, if any, time organizing their friends or News Feeds, more advanced users will appreciate the control Facebook is offering.