Facebook Alters News Feed Ranking
Facebook have recently announced an update to their News Feed ranking, which aims to show you more timely content. They have acknowledged that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you’re connected to is only interesting at a specific time (e.g. sports games, TV premieres) or when a post is a day or two old and may not be relevant to you anymore.
To address these issues, Facebook’s update looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates:
1. Factoring in trending topics
Facebook will show timely content higher-up in the News Feed by showing peoples stories about trending topics as soon as they occur. This means that when a friend or Page that you’re connected to posts about a hot trending topic (e.g. the ALS ice-bucket challenge earlier this month) the post is more likely to appear higher up in the News Feed, so you can see it sooner. Results from early testing have shown that this update on average leads to over 6% increase in people engaging with these trending stories.
2. Looking at when people like or comment
Currently, when determining how high a post will show in the News Feed, Facebook looks at the total amount of likes. However with this latest update, they’ll now look at the rate at which people are engaging, or rather WHEN people are choosing to engage with the post. Basically, if people are engaging with a post right after it is posted, however not as much a few hours later, this suggests the post was perhaps interesting at the time it was posted, but not so much later on. Based on this, these posts will show higher in the News Feed soon after they’re posted, but lower as time goes on. This would apply to posts about sports games, live TV or general trending topics.
These changes will be rolling out gradually and Facebook has stated that we shouldn’t expect posts to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update. Facebook has also noted that if a Page posts about a trending topic or a particular post of theirs sees high engagement early on but then drops off, that post may begin to see increased distribution early on but less over time. They’ve also reminded us that Pages should continue producing great content that is relevant and resonates with their audience, as the never-ending battle between businesses and Facebook’s algorithm continues.
What did you think about Facebook’s update to the News Feed. Do you think it will have a dramatic effect?