Facebook is changing its News Feed algorithm again and it will change Facebook page reach

02/02/16

More changes are coming to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm which dictates what appears in people’s News Feed as they scroll through. Like the changes in the last few years that ultimately caused a big decline in post reach for Facebook pages, this algorithm update could affect whether – and how much – your business’ posts are seen by your fans.

The theory behind the Facebook News Feed algorithm update 2016

Facebook’s theory was that clicking “Like” on a post didn’t actually dictate how much you liked it. The idea is that “not all likes are created equal”, according to Social Media Today, and that’s what Facebook is tackling with its algorithm update.

To investigate this, Facebook employed a team of News Feed quality testers, which are a team of people that make up the Feed Quality Panel. These people are tasked with writing their feedback about posts that come up on the News Feed and reporting to Facebook’s engineers.

Quality becoming even more important on Facebook

In the end, Facebook decided that this algorithm update would prioritize stories or posts that you’d want to see at the top of your News Feed, mixed with the likelihood of engaging with these stories or posts, by liking, commenting or sharing.

Facebook used surveys, user feedback and on-platform actions to determine what should be shown first on each person’s News Feed. The idea is to give a more personalized experience to each user.

How will Facebook pages be affected by the News Feed algorithm update 2016?

In a statement, Facebook said:

“Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on doesn’t match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed. This update helps rebalance those two factors, so people are seeing relevant stories to them.”

Source: Social Media Today

Facebook’s advice was that page admins, editors and managers need to encourage quality engagement from their fans, rather than posting click-bait type posts. Having tons of likes on a post doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good content, and the algorithm should be able to correct for any temporary increases in activity that don’t represent a more engaged audience.

What’s the good news?

For those of us who post great content about businesses, you can rest assured that those “What happened next blew my mind” type posts will no longer be rewarded for earning cheap clicks.

Facebook has some tips for pages on what great content entails:

  • Make your posts timely and relevant
  • Build credibility and trust with your audience
  • Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
  • Think about, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”

Source: Facebook News Feed FYI

Here’s our take on the Facebook News Feed algorithm update

At Legendary Social Media, we’re actually pretty excited for this Facebook News Feed algorithm update. As people who love to post great content on Facebook pages but see rewards going to click-bait type posts, we believe that Facebook page admins and editors will see improvements in their Facebook post reach based on this update. Posting great content that interests people enough to spend some time reading or watching it is the ultimate goal of Facebook marketing. Our assessment is that this update could help.

That said, we hope Facebook will be careful about how it determines user interest. This algorithm update moves away from what machines/code can see equals engagement, ie. clicks, likes, shares and comments. Facebook now leans more onto soft cues of interest in posts, which isn’t easy to get right.

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