Facebook News Feed Updates 5 years ago

Facebook recently announced two updates on its News Feed Algorithm. Two more variables/signals are now included in its complex algorithm in the purpose of improving the News Feed’s quality, thus delivering more interesting and engaging content to its users.

After observation and analysis of user feedback, Facebook concluded that there was potential of further improvement for its News Feed ranking algorithm. As users mentioned, some stories were appearing on their News Feed when they weren’t interesting to them anymore, decreasing their News Feed quality. Taking this into account, Facebook now has included in its algorithm an update which allows trending stories to appear as soon as they are published.

As a result, whenever a friend or a Favorite Page of a user is connected to a currently hot topic, the story appears higher on his News Feed, allowing him to get insights on his friends’ and Favorite Pages’ latest activity. An interesting fact is the following: some early testing has shown that “this update on average leads to a more than 6% increase in people engaging with these stories (e.g., more people share, comment, like or click)”, as Facebook mentions in newsroom.fb.com.

The second update has come to improve an already existent variable of the algorithm. Till now, Facebook was taking into account the number of likes and shares a post had received in order to determine how high up to show it in the News Feed. Now, they also take into account the rate at which users are liking, commenting and sharing a post. So, the more a post is being liked, commented and shared, the higher it appears on the News Feed. They are also considering to include this rate in the process of determining the stories that get bumped in News Feed. “Bumping is when they resurface stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see but are still getting lots of engagement”.

These new updates have definitely enhanced the quality of the algorithm’s results, as it is already proved by the first testing results. But the point is what this means for users and especially page managers.

It means that the more publicity a post gets, it increases its chances to reach the top of our News Feed. So, every time new updates are performed on the algorithm, it gets harder and harder for a post to score high implying that page posts must align with some substantial requirements in order to be placed high on the News Feed page of their fans. Thus, a Facebook Page Post should be:

1) Relevant to the Page’s Activity: A post could be simply an update on the organization’s activity, an article from its website blog, some news of the industry or a marketing campaign (a contest, a product promotional campaign etc.). If the Facebook page belongs to an ecommerce website, the post should contain the e-shop’s link.

2) Interactive: In order for your Page’s post to score high in the News Feed algorithm, it must include a type of interaction between the page and its fans, meaning it must receive comments, the most difficult thing to achieve on your post. This is because users find it easier and faster to like or share something, instead of commenting on it. That implies that you have to create some kind of interaction with your fans. For example, you could include a question at the end of your post, asking for your fans’ opinion on the topic you deploy. The more comments you get, the higher you will score on the News Feed Algorithm.

3) Engaging: An engaging post is the one which gets many likes, shares and comments. To make your post more engaging, you have to:

  • make it interactive
  • include links, hashtags
  • include pictures or videos (research have proven post that include them to be more engaging than simple text posts)
  • tag people or pages that might be relevant to the topic of your post

 

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