Ok Facebook – What’s a Top Story?

Another change on Facebook that seems to be engendering a great deal of conversation (as well as offense) is the concept of “top stories.”  People are wondering, who the heck is Facebook to tell me what it thinks I should consider to be a top story?

As a side note, I haven’t noticed people complaining about gMail telling people when it thinks an email is more important, but I digress.

Top Stories

Top stories are marked with a blue, upper left corner on the post . One post may appear as a top story for person A but not for person B.

Essentially, every time you check your news feed, the first items you see will be the top stories that have been posted since your last visit. So if you don’t check Facebook very often, say once a week, then you will mainly see your top stories. If you have enough friends, or friends who post a lot, this might help you focus on the issues of more import to you; assuming Facebook is choosing top stories wisely.

If you do check Facebook a lot, say every few minutes throughout the day, top stories will blend in a bit more for you, but they remain the posts that Facebook thinks would interest you the most.

How Does Facebook Identify Top Stories?

Essentially, Facebook is using an algorithm based on a variety of item. Those items include your relationship (i.e. have you identified the person as a family member or close friend,) and the popularity of the post (people, especially your friends, commenting on it a lot or many people liking a post.)  Therefore a post may not start as a top story, but it could become one as time passes and people respond to it.

Hot Do I Remove a Top Story?

If Facebook is wrong and you don’t feel a story is a top story (or simply don’t feel anything should be a top story) you can remove the top story categorization.

For any post, you can click on the blue arrow to remove or add top story.








For more options on posts by others, you can click on the down facing carrot on the right side of the post. Then you can choose to Unmark something as a top story (or make it a top story). You can also choose to unsubscribe from someone completely if you so desire.  If you unsubscribe from someone you won’t see his status updates any more.
















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