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Metro's Newsfeed Algorithm

8741633591ccd3c7f16d8a27013dd65e?s=47 elgrom
May 14, 2014

Metro's Newsfeed Algorithm

How Metro built an algorithmically driven Homepage.

8741633591ccd3c7f16d8a27013dd65e?s=128

elgrom

May 14, 2014
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  1. Metro’s Newsfeed Algorithm How Metro built an algorithmically driven Homepage

  2. ! David Jensen ! Head of Development ! Metro.co.uk ! WordPress VIP » since Dec

    2012 Who am I?
  3. ! Metro is a very lean operation ! 6 developers ! 20 content

    producers ! 24/7 mindset ! Constant experimentation ! Trending -> Timeline -> Newsfeed Why algorithms?
  4. Collating data from: ! Facebook » Shares » Likes » Comments ! Twitter ! Omniture ! WordPress

    Started as a dissertation project
  5. Views + ((Tweets + Facebook Interactions) * 50) = Score

    ! Calculated every 30 minutes ! Rate of change = constantly changing Current Score – Previous Score = Trending Initial calculations
  6. Trending Designs

  7. Trending Stats

  8. ! Removed swipe ! Trialled at the bottom of the homepage ! Then

    rolled out to the bottom of every page ! Native Content ! Native Display Units Timeline “A stream of news”
  9. ! Time based stream ! Picture size based on currently popularity ! Native

    content clearly marked ! Native display units for CPA and CPM based advertising ! Consistency across all platforms Timeline Design
  10. ! Scrolls Timeline Statistics ! Clicks

  11. (Views + ((Social Interactions) * 10)) * Time Since Publish

    Coefficient ! Highest clicks on the top of every stream ! Popular content at the top of each stream ! Gives fresh content a chance ! Penalises popular content after a period ! Four hours about the half life of a story Newsfeed “Algorithmic stream of news”
  12. Stream based iterations / DAU 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2

    0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 Timeline New Style Newsfeed Infinite Scrolls/DAU Clicks/DAU
  13. ! Based on actions per daily active user (DAU) ! Timeline ->

    Newsfeed clicks increased 9% ! Allowed us to take over the homepage ! Content density A/B test increased clicks 20% ! Infinite scroll increased clicks 20% ! Native Display -> 10x click through vs sidebar MPU ! Native content traffic drivers on every page NewsFeed Statistics
  14. ! Content volume is key to ensure freshness ! Cut the data

    at the highest level for cache-ability ! Speed of lazy load essential ! Publishing times can affect clustering ! MySQL is simple but limited ! Common understanding helps iterating Lessons learned
  15. ! Cache the first page of it using wpcom_vip_file_get_contents ! Copy the

    public API format to be able to change between sources quickly ! Large options allows you to store data in it ! Post meta can also store information ! CHEEZETEST is great but can add complication 15 WordPress Lessons
  16. ! Micro services architecture » Data mining » Newsfeed » Commercial feed ! Backbone used

    for templates ! Cloud front for caching API / Frontend
  17. ! Just top 10 stories on the site at any time

    ! Gives you more of what you read most ! 600 installs, 120 DAUs, 2 sessions a day, 13 screens/session ! Wouldn't have been possible without the API Metro10 – Android App
  18. http://blog.david-jensen.com @elgrom Thanks for listening