It has been one year since Facebook introduced Reactions for increased user engagement, and over the past year Facebook has learned that any Reaction left on a post is a strong indicator that the user was more interested in that post than any other “liked” posts. Currently, any Reaction is weighed the same as a Like; however, Facebook is revamping the News Feed to weigh Reactions more than Likes. If a user selects a Reaction on a post, even an “Angry” Reaction, Facebook will begin showing similar stories in the News Feed. If you wish to see less posts of a certain variety, then it’s best to do nothing; don’t Like or React to that post. For marketers, you’ll want to create posts that elicit a Reaction over a Like.
In the effort to duplicate Snapchat’s success, Facebook has now brought Stories to the main Facebook app. With this latest app update, users will now see circular icons with their friends’ profile pictures at the top of the News Feed. These icons represent recent “stories” that friends have published, which may contain images, video, drawings, and special camera effects. After 24 hours, these stories will disappear and be replaced with new ones. With Facebook Stories, users can become more visual in how they choose to share their activities and personality with their friends. The inclusion of Stories essentially creates a second News Feed within the app.
Facebook receives thousands of complaints everyday regarding “clickbait” links and headlines.
Previous changes in the News Feed algorithm have attempted to reduce the number of clickbait posts that appear on users’ News Feeds.
This newest update allows Facebook to recognize and classify clickbait-like headlines, much like a spam filter in email.
This system update will also help Facebook identify Pages and accounts that regularly post clickbait links and headlines, reducing their rankings in the News Feed.
This latest update is a small change to the algorithm after Facebook surveyed many users. Based on this survey, Facebook will now predict which posts a user may find “informative” and prioritize said posts in the user’s News Feed.
“Informative” could relate to a variety of posts based on the user’s likes and engagement with other posts, in addition to the results found in this recent survey.
For one user, this could mean more posts that are news-related or that feature recipes.
For others, it could be news about a favorite celebrity or a movie review.
Facebook does not anticipate much change in post distribution from Pages, though some could see slight increases or decreases in referral traffic.
The secret behind Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has been guessed at for years, with published algorithm updates that help support the various theories out there.
However, Facebook recently opened the curtain on the “core values” it uses when determining what shows up in a user’s feed. Facebook became known as the social platform to connect friends and family, which is why most of the News Feed is filled with posts from those users care about most.
Now, Facebook states that posts from friends and family will get top priority on users’ News Feeds.
After posts from friends and family, Facebook prioritizes posts that “inform” and posts that “entertain.”
Other core values include posts that represent all ideas and posts with “authentic communication.”
Facebook also emphasized the user’s ability to hide posts, unfollow other users and Pages, and the user’s ability to prioritize their own feed with the “See First” function.
Lastly, Facebook reiterated the goal to always improve the News Feed and user experience.
Facebook has been known to be filled with clickbait links to articles and websites, but thanks to Facebook’s intent to improve the type of content being shared on its platform, this may slowly come to an end.
There are sites out there who only care about clicks on their links, even if it the user leaves the page immediately after clicking the link.
Now, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on a shared link, whether it’s an Instant Article or on another site.
This should begin to filter out clickbait links that don’t actually provide useful content.
In addition, Facebook is also looking to penalize Pages that post too often.
This will be useful for marketers when creating their Facebook posting strategies.
Facebook has been paying attention to how much longer users watch live streaming videos in their News Feeds, and it turns out live videos are viewed 3x longer than a previously recorded and uploaded video.
Based on this information, Facebook will begin prioritizing live video in users’ News Feeds.
Facebook previously prioritized stories that it deemed “best,” not necessarily the most current.
This live video update changes that.
This update helps Facebook keep up with Twitter’s real-time posts, including Periscope videos.
This update proves that Facebook is continually listening to its users and attempting to improve the user experience by prioritizing and improving News Feed.
With this latest update, Facebook will gauge the likelihood that users will highly rate a post or the probability that users will interact with a post by liking, commenting, or sharing.
These posts will then be placed at the top of the user’s News Feed.
These two criteria were discovered after Facebook conducted an extensive survey in which users indicated what they prefer to see at the top of their News Feeds.
The update should have little impact on Pages; however, some Pages may notice a slight increase in referral traffic while other Pages may experience a decrease in referral traffic.
How this update affects the majority of Pages in the long run will be better measured over time.
Historically, publishers on Facebook struggled to organically reach their target audience, mostly due to Facebook’s algorithm.
Known as the Audience Optimization tool, this new update allows publishers to set preferences to target a specific audience based on interests, demographics, and geographic location.
Using this new tool, publishers and marketers on Facebook can organically reach their intended audience and then see how well their posts perform.
EdgeRank is the name commonly given to the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what articles should be displayed in a user’s News Feed.
As of 2011, Facebook has stopped using the “EdgeRank” term internally to refer to its News Feed ranking algorithm, and in 2013, uses an algorithm that takes more than 100,000 factors into account in addition to EdgeRank’s three.
In 2010, the EdgeRank algorithm was described as:
Some of the methods that Facebook uses to adjust the parameters are proprietary and not available to the public.