Information pursuant to Section 93(1) of the German Interstate Media Treaty (MStV)

Answer

What criteria apply when accessing and retaining XING platform content?

What are the key criteria when aggregating, selecting and presenting content and with a view to weighting of such content?

How do the algorithms used work?

The answers to these questions are provided below.

What kind of content is available on XING?

The XING platform provides members with content – mainly text, images, and audio and video recordings – from various sources. XING is an online business network, meaning that the content provided is primarily geared towards careers, individual sectors of industry, and the economy as a whole. All such content complies with conventional netiquette, applicable legislation, and journalistic standards. The following content is prohibited:

  • Content which violates applicable legislation and third-party personality and property rights;
  • Content deemed insulting, defamatory or detrimental to business;
  • Content deemed to be pornographic, violence-glorifying, abusive, immoral, racist and/or xenophobic;
  • Content which violates legislation for the protection of minors;
  • Content which unreasonably annoys other users;
  • Content which uses or promotes any commercial practices considered unfair competition, including progressive customer acquisition practices (such as chain distribution systems, multilevel selling or pyramid sales).

There are four types of content:

  1. Content from XING members:
    • Posts (which may contain text, images and links to external content) shared by members’ direct contacts
    • Posts which members’ contacts like, comment on or share
    • Information about contacts’ profile updates and new contacts.
  2. Content from sources that members follow (e.g. news pages, Insiders, companies, groups and events)
  3. XING recommendations (automated or curated), e.g. other XING members, job ads, news articles and feeds, and posts by XING members who aren’t direct contacts
  4. Sponsored content (paid posts in various parts of the platform)

In some cases, the same kind of content will be clustered, e.g. if several contacts have their birthday on the same day. Content may also be picked and sorted, particularly if there is a lot of content available, and then served to members with priority given to content deemed most relevant to the given member.

The following information describes how this works.

About content types 1 and 2:

Members are served prioritised content deemed to be of interest to them, in turn making members more likely to engage with the content. Content prioritisation is based on criteria derived from past usage data:

  • To what extent do members engage with this kind of post? Certain members prefer to read certain post types, e.g. shared links or news articles
  • Have a lot of other users read this post as well? If so, it’s likely to be of more interest to members who haven’t seen it yet
  • How important is the person or source who posts content to the member? Priority will be given to posts by persons or sources that a member has often engaged with in the past
  • What level of social interaction (likes, comments, shares) does a post receive? The greater the interaction, the more interesting it’s likely to be.
  • How old is the post? Depending on the kind of post used, the older it is, the less relevant it’s likely to be.
  • Was the post already shown to a member? Displaying posts to a member multiple times decreases their priority

All of these criteria are used to determine the order in which posts are displayed to individual members.

These criteria are the same for every member. However, the weighting applied to the criteria may change at any time as a result of system optimisations designed to make content more relevant for members.

Content findability can’t be influenced by paying a fee or by means of any other direct or indirect financial consideration. Individual content, an affiliate’s content (Section 15 of the German Stock Corporation Act - AktG), and cooperation partners’ content will not be given special treatment.

Individual prioritisation of content only applies to certain pages, e.g. the homepage, topic portfolios, and e-mail newsletters. Nevertheless, it’s always possible to view all of the posts for a certain feed or source as there are special areas specifically for this in member profiles and on companies and news pages. There, posts are sorted by date of posting (this also applies to group forums and event pages). All of a member’s posts are also listed by date of posting on the homepage.

About content type 3:

Content types 1 and 2 are based on member activity, e.g. following company news and news pages, and adding new contacts. Content type 3 is where XING actively recommends posts to members, labelling them as suggestions or recommendations.

The idea behind these recommendations is to provide members with as many new opportunities to add new contacts and as much new relevant content as possible. Recommendations are individualised, meaning that information about each member is used to deliver content manually or in an automated fashion.

The information about each member used varies depending on the type of post, e.g. job ad, text post, event recommendation.

This information may include, e.g. the place of work or industry listed in the member’s profile, ideal employers on company pages, or the member’s required salary. Recommendations are also based on user behaviour, i.e. content the member engaged with by way of views, clicks and comments.

These criteria are the same for every member. However, the weighting applied to the criteria may change at any time as a result of system optimisations designed to make content more relevant for members.

Content findability can’t be influenced by paying a fee or by means of any other direct or indirect financial consideration. Individual content, an affiliate’s content (Section 15 of the German Stock Corporation Act - AktG), and cooperation partners’ content will not be given special treatment.

About content type 4:

Some parts of the platform display sponsored content with the aim of providing our members with matching content while ensuring good performance for our advertisers.

Slots for sponsored posts are subject to rules on where and how often they’re displayed. Content type 4 is clearly distinguishable from other content thanks to the ‘sponsored’ label.

The ads served to members when loading a certain page are determined by auction, with the following criteria applied to determine a winner:

  • Known user data and probability of the member engaging with the content,
  • The advertiser’s targeting criteria, e.g. gender or age of members to be targeted,
  • The advertiser’s budget (pay-per-click or CPM models are usually used).

Advertisers must ensure that their content adheres to the XING Advertising Code at all times.

Individual content, an affiliate’s content (Section 15 of the German Stock Corporation Act - AktG), and cooperation partners’ content will not be given special treatment

FAQ ID: 68230