Facebook is one the most popular social media platforms that businesses use these days to connect and engage with their audience. It’s a great channel for marketing so a lot of businesses also partner with social media outsourcing services to maximize their reach. However, because your audience is bombarded with around 1,500 stories on their news feed, it can be challenging for you to get your posts seen. This is all because of the Facebook News Feed Algorithm.
It was in 2009 when Facebook first released a real-time news feed that was completely unrestricted, displaying every single story as they were published. Since then, quite a number of updates have been made to it that changed how it now works. Below, we have listed down the updates that Facebook has rolled out since 2011.
Apr. 24, 2015 – Three Major Algorithm Changes
In order to show users more content that matters to them, these latest algorithm changes give people the right mix of updates from friends, publishers, businesses and the communities they follow. First, a previous rule that prevents users to see multiple posts from the same source in a row has been relaxed so that they will have more to see. Second, Facebook ensures users that they will no longer miss important updates from friends they care about by ranking them higher on the news feed. Lastly, stories about friends liking or commenting on posts will be ranked lower because of feedback from people saying that they don’t like seeing those.
Mar. 13, 2015 – Deleting FB Page Likes
Facebook announced that page owners might see a small decrease in their number of likes. This is because Facebook has removed inactive Facebook accounts, which might affect the Page’s like counts but will, in the long run, make data more consistent and up-to-date.
Jan. 20, 2015 – Flagging Misleading or Deceitful Links
In response to people who have clamored to see fewer stories that are hoaxes or misleading news, Facebook released an update that reduces the distribution of those that have been reported as such. They have added an option for people to report these types of stories from their news feed, similar to reporting a story as spam. These posts will then be annotated with a message that will warn people about it.
Nov. 14, 2014 – Promo-Heavy Pages Decrease in Distribution
Because people dislike overly promotional posts, Facebook changed the algorithm to decrease their distribution while increasing the relevance and quality of stories shown on people’s news feeds.
Facebook released new settings that gives users an option to quickly unfollow and refollow people, Pages, and Groups, as well as hide stories they’re not interested in.
Facebook’s news feed ranking looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment compared to others: 1) by showing timely content higher up on the news feed to show people what their friends and favorite Pages are saying about it and 2) by looking at the rate at which people are liking and commenting on a post and when they do it.
Facebook is now taking into account the reasons why people hide ads. Further, they’re also paying more attention to feedback from people who don’t hide ads often. Learning why people hide ads enables the app to show more relevant ones to their users.
Facebook released two updates: First, to reduce click-baiting headlines (those that encourage people to click to see more without telling them much information about the post), and second, to improve the visibility of links on posts by showing them in the link format (when you paste a link when drafting a post), which most people prefer.
This one personalizes the news feed based on people’s preferences for watching videos. Those who watch videos a lot will expect to see more on the top of their feed while those who don’t will see less.
This update prioritizes showing explicitly shared stories from apps on the news feed over implicit ones that are usually not as interesting or relevant.
This improvement targets three types of common news feed spam behavior: Like-baiting (asking readers to like, comment or share a post), frequently shared content, and spammy links.
This update now allows for Page posts that tag other Pages viewable by other people, similar to how people are able to view photos of others in their news feed when their friends are tagged.
This improvement on the ranking algorithm treats text updates from friend and text updates from Pages differently. This update decreases the distribution of text status updates made by pages because they don’t perform as well as those that are posted by friends.
This update looks at ways to show people additional articles that are similar to those they’ve just read. These related articles can be seen directly below the news feed post. Additionally, this update also bumps stories with new comments up higher on the feed.
The goal of this update was to deliver the most increasingly relevant ads to the right people by studying feedback received regarding how often they report or hide an ad.
To better understand what high quality means to people, Facebook developed a new algorithm that uses a thousand different factors to calculate the score of a news feed story.
Clickable hashtags were rolled out for both users and brands to enable them to see a feed of what everyone are saying about a topic.
The news feed was given a new look, which reduces clutter and focuses more on stories that are relevant to the user. Facebook also introduced several new feeds to explore including All Friends, Photos, Music and Following.
Major updates were made to Pages to include a new design that features bigger photos and milestones, cover photos, visibility of friends’ activities on Pages, pinned posts, admin panel, and activity log.
Facebook launched the timeline both on Android and m.facebook.com.
Facebook makes changes to its news feed algorithm every so often in order to improve user experience. It is imperative then for businesses using Facebook to keep track of these changes because they may or may not have an impact as well on how they use it and on the results they expect to gain from it.