Facebook is one of the most popular websites in the world.
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is simple: Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Users across the globe use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
One of the ways marketers can reach this mission is to use the News Feed and the algorithm that goes along with it. This algorithm is based on what Facebook thinks you’ll likely to want to see.
According to Facebook, the algorithm is based on several factors:
How often you interact with the friend, page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post
As you can see, News Feed’s algorithm can be particularly beneficial for businesses looking to stand out from competitors. While it’s constantly changing due to the nature of the user and the search itself, here a few things you should understand about Facebook’s News Feed algorithm:
Text statuses matter
Facebook has uncovered some interesting facts about text status updates. According to Search Engine Watch, Facebook users saw more text only updates from friends in their feed, which made them more likely to share their own updates.
Because of this, Facebook has increased the number of text status updates that appear on a user’s News Feed. Facebook claims that this change led to an average of nine million more status updates by Facebook users each day.
Keep this in mind, though: Facebook also noticed that business page text status updates did not have the same influence as text status updates from users.
Therefore, this means page owners may see a drop in the distribution of their own text status updates they share. While this may be solved with photo or video updates, it’s in your best interest to see what types of posts garner the most engagement.
Old stories will resurface
Recently, Facebook announced an update to its News Feed algorithm. In essence, organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see will reappear near the top of News Feed IF the stories are garnering lots of likes and comments.
Facebook data indicates that this may improve the News Feed user experience. For instance:
In a test with a small number of users, this ranking change resulted in a five percent increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends and an eight percent increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from pages
Previously, people read an average of 57 percent of the stories in their News Feeds. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43 percent. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70 percent
For Page owners, this update means their most popular organic posts will likely have an increased shot at getting seen by more people, even if they’re more than a few hours old (advertisers see no impact on paid content).
Links now appear with photos and snippets
One of most popular algorithm changes is the fact that page status updates which include a link within the update will now embed a photo, as well as a snippet from the page article into the post.
Facebook indicates that these types of updates receive more engagement, which includes likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
In addition, links that appear with photos and text snippets are more visually compelling than a text-only status update with a link or an image alone. This is a huge win for the business community since it allows you to combine real news with a visually appealing update.
While Facebook’s News Feed algorithm may seem intimidating, understanding a few key features — as well as staying updated on the latest changes — will allow you to tailor your content and your presence more effectively.
Let me know how you use Facebook’s News Feed algorithm in the comments below!