Today, Facebook announced major changes to the News Feed. In an attempt to demystify what is in that coveted column, Facebook will now provide updates in a blog so that page admins can better understand what is happening to their content.
Two new features – “Story Bump” and “Last Actor” – will go live today, replacing the previous system. (Story Bump will be coming soon to mobile.) The alternations to the algorithm aim to rank stories that have been published AND unseen by a user since last login. In the Sprout Social news story, it states: “According to Facebook, this method has resulted in five percent more Likes, comments, and shares on stories from friends and an eight percent boost in interactions for stories from Pages. Additionally, potentially visible stories read increased from 57 percent to 70 percent, meaning that people are reading more content.”
So why is this change needed? Mario Aguilar of Gizmodo writes, “Everyday, there are roughly 1,500 different stories the average user could see and since you don’t have time to see all of them, Facebook needs a system for prioritizing those stories so that the ones that are likely to be interesting to a particular user will show up when they login. In an effort to show you a more relevant news feed selection of some 300 stories, Facebook adapts to your behavior” by how often you interact with a friend or page, how much your past behavior has indicated interaction with posts, and whether the post has been reported by people.
Although it will remain to be seen just how this change will impact interactions with fans on our brand pages, don’t panic. Engaging and quality content will continue to be the commodity of successful social media channels. Jolie O’Dell pointedly writes: “as long as you’re posting the kind of content your friends want to see — not FarmVille updates, not friendships with random strangers, not irrelevant text — your friends will see and interact with your posts. If you’re relevant and interesting to your friends, they’ll interact with you. Moral of the story (and generally good life lesson): Don’t be boring.”