Facebook News Feed Algorithm Changes…Again
Hold on to your hats, folks. Facebook issued News Feed algorithm changes again and community managers everywhere are fighting the urge to melt their faces off.
The previous Facebook algorithm change, which rolled-out a couple of months ago, responds to activity across your News Feed, including friends and brand interactions. Community managers hustled Facebook Insights to optimize page visibility based on when fans are online and current interaction trends.
Now, this new algorithm endeavors to present more “high quality content” in News Feeds, keeping news articles and current events at the top of News Feeds. ”High quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently,” Facebook explains in its blog.
What This Means for Brands
Unfortunately, this means the news article from CNN about healthcare reform will likely trump brand page posts. With traffic from Facebook to news sites tripling in the past year, it comes as no surprise that Facebook wants to tango heavily with media and news outlets in what seems to be an effort to out-perform Twitter as the go-to source for current events.
Facebook has not revealed how the formula will recognize "high quality content," but they promise the demotion of memes and uninformative over-shared links. This could create a nice organic middle-ground position for brand posts between news articles and memes, but I wonder how the formula will differentiate between a viral media meme and a viral brand media post.
I see the difference, but will the algorithm?
How to Beat the Algorithm…Again
With Facebook staying mum about how the algorithm works, making it very challenging to find ways to use it advantageously. It seems the change is one more push from Team Zuckerberg for brands to invest more in Facebook advertising in order to compete with media outlets. In good news, the algorithm change includes an updated bumping feature, meaning quality and/or promoted posts could continue to bump to the top of News Feeds with each new Comment and Share, making it more important than ever for brands to create frequent quality content. With high-engaging content, brands with promoted posts could see an increase in reach with this interaction-centered bumping based on Comments and Shares.
Hopefully Facebook will loosen its grip on the how and why of the News Feed change and we will know more about optimizing the updated algorithm for brand success.
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