Facebook have announced that they are currently going through more News Feed algorithm changes.
The last algorithm update was rolled out at the end of April earlier this year.
Since April, This update had a significant effect on businesses as a result of the following changes taking place:
- Improving user experience for people who do not have a lot of content available to see. Previously, there was a rule that you would not see multiple posts from the same source in a row. But Facebook is now “relaxing” that rule.
- The focus of the Facebook News Feed was changed to place more importance on personal accounts so posts by a user’s friends would appear in more prominent positions on the News Feed, while posts by non-personal pages i.e business pages appeared further down.
- The algorithm update also meant that interactions (comments, likes, shares etc.) between friends’ accounts and pages which they were not already actively following or engaging with (ie: business pages they liked) became much less likely to show up in their News Feeds. This seriously affected business pages’ ability to be seen by people who were not already following them, ie: potential new fans/customers.
These changes reduced the ability of business pages to have posts seen by both fans and non-fans meaning that business pages’ posts were reaching far less people than they had in times gone by. Many felt that this was a tactic by Facebook to encourage businesses to spend more money on boosted posts and Facebook ads.
Facebooks newest update:
The newest Facebook update which is currently ongoing will feature the following changes:
- Social interactions (likes, shares, comments etc.) are set to become less valuable.
- Time spent on linked pages will become more valuable.
- Loading speed will also be taken into consideration.
Facebook are now looking deeper into ‘likes’ and their long-term value. The old News Feed model allowed people’s Facebook homepages to get inundated with irrelevant content which received a lot of likes and shares, but didn’t really offer people anything in terms of genuine long-term value.
Loading speed is a new focus for Facebook engineers who will be able to detect slow loading times and ensure that time spent waiting for a page to load, even if it is due to slow internet connection does not count towards the valuable time spent on page valuation.
The biggest concern for digital marketers is the thought of social interactions becoming less valuable. Those of us who practice content/digital marketing know the value of social interactions and their ability to reach wider audiences and have already been hit with a blow from the April Algorithm update.
So what can we do?
It comes back to the age-old say- “content is King” and it really is the key to overcoming the backlash from the newest algorithm update.
Writing articles and posts that engage with users will be far more beneficial than a misleading headline and a funny image that will encourage people to click the ‘like’ button. Interactions will still be a valuable part of Facebook News Feed but just not as vital as they were in the past.