Facebook update: Even better content on News Feed

What’s a month without a Facebook update? Thankfully this latest update is one that will be welcomed by users, as Facebook concentrates on showing people “the right content at the right time.”

It’s no secret that some of Facebook’s previous News Feed updates have left users frustrated as it has resulted in irrelevant, and sometimes old, stories flooding their News Feed. Some users have even complained that they have missed important stories and updates from friends and Pages.

This latest Facebook update seeks to remedy some of these issues by taking into account two separate factors which will “determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.”

Trending topics

Back in January Facebook introduced ‘Trending’ – yet another product which gives it a similarity to Twitter. The trending box, which appears in the top right corner of a users’ News Feed, features a list of topics which have recently spiked in popularity.

The list is also facebook8personalised and includes a topics based on things that a user is interested in. Trending is currently rolling out on web in select countries and continues to be tested on mobile.

Following the introduction of ‘Trending’, Facebook now plans to utilise this tool to show timely content higher-up in News Feed. Going forward, users will be shown “stories about things that are trending as soon as they occur”, so that users will immediately know what their friends or favourite Pages are saying about the most popular stories of that day.

What does this mean for brands and organisations with Pages? Simple really – if you are a Page admin and decide to post about something which is currently a hot topic on Facebook then your post is more likely to appear higher up in News Feed.

Facebook have said, “Early testing of a small percentage of posts 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).”

Likes and comments

Currently, when deciding how high up on News Feed a post should sit, Facebook takes into account the rate at which people are liking or sharing the post. In future, Facebook will now look at when people are choosing to engage with the post.facebook

If engagement occurs right after posting then Facebook will decide that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, rather than at a later date. Based on this new signal, the post would be “more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.”

Facebook will also take this signal into account when deciding what stories to ‘bump’ in News Feed. Facebook defines ‘bumping’ as – ‘when we resurface stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see but are still getting lots of engagement’.

When will I notice these changes?

Facebook will be rolling out these changes gradually so users should not expect to see significant changes in post distribution following this update. Facebook has also given advice to Page admins saying, “If a Page posts about a trending topic or if a post sees a high velocity of engagement early on that then drops off, that post may begin to see increased distribution early on and less distribution over time.”

Our thoughts

Recent updates from Facebook have all resulted in an improvement in user experience. This latest update looks set to make News Feed even more relevant and even more junk-free for the user. If you are a Page admin then make sure you are constantly producing great content that is appealing to your fans – Facebook will reward you for it by giving you all important real estate space on News Feed.

Got a question about Facebook? Do you need advice on your strategy? Contact a member of the TravelMedia.ie team to see if we can help.