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The Facebook news feed refers to the center column of a Facebook user's home page, which shows updates from the people and pages that user follows on Facebook. What a Facebook user sees on his or her news feed is controlled by an algorithm that factors in how many people are commenting on a certain piece of content, who posted it and what type of content it is (photo, video, etc.). Users can also exert some control over their feeds by adjusting the news feed controls under Facebook's settings.
The Facebook news feed feature was introduced in 2006 and was met with some concern from users, who feared the updates made it too easy for others to track their updates and activity on Facebook. As a result, Facebook changed the feature to allow some user customization so that personal updates, such as a change in relationship status, could be set so that they would not automatically be sent to friends. In 2010, users were also given the ability to customize how much they heard about certain friends.
The news feed is a key feature in Facebook that keeps the site both dynamic and interactive. As a user's friends post updates or content, this is reflected in the news feed so that each time a user returns to Facebook, he or she is likely to be presented with fresh content.