Facebook’s Newest News Feed Test Is All About Context

Facebook is testing a way to give users more context about the articles they see in their News Feeds

An "i" toward context Facebook
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook is testing a way to give users more context about the articles they see in their News Feeds.

Users who are part of the test group will see an “i” button (pictured above) atop the links for certain articles in their News Feeds.

Tapping that button will launch a pop-up with additional context about those articles, including:

  • Wikipedia entries for the publishers of those articles.
  • Trending articles or Related Articles on the same topics.
  • Information about how other Facebook users are sharing those articles.
  • Informing users if any of the information above is unavailable, which may help to provide context, as well.

Director of product management Andrew Anker, News Feed product manager Sara Su and product designer Jeff Smith revealed the test in a Newsroom post, writing: “This new feature is designed to provide people some of the tools they need to make an informed decision about which stories to read, share and trust. It reflects feedback from our community, including many publishers who collaborated on its development as part of our work through the Facebook Journalism Project.”

They continued, “Helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust and if the story itself is credible. This is just the beginning of the test. We’ll continue to listen to people’s feedback and work with publishers to provide people easy access to the contextual information that helps people decide which stories to read, share and trust, and to improve the experiences people have on Facebook.”

Most pages should not see any significant impact on their News Feed distribution as a result of this test, according to Anker, Su and Smith.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.