Facebook releases its new algorithm which is a must to know, understand and follow for all marketers. This is going to change the way Facebook marketers have been tapping their targeted audience.
The News Feed algorithm responds to signals from you, including, for example:
- How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
- The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
- How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
- Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post
Say a friend, but not a close friend, had an awesome post at 8 a.m., but it didn’t show up on your News Feed when you checked at that time, because it was too far down. With Story Bumping, Facebook is borrowing from NBC with the idea of, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!” That post you missed from a friend at 8 a.m. is eligible to be bumped back up toward the top of your News Feed when you check again an hour or two later.
This gives a second chance for posts from users and pages who didn’t have their content shown shortly after posting.
Lars Backstrom, Facebook’s Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking, discussed Story Bumping with reporters:
What can we do to make it so people aren’t missing these important stories? Maybe the position 1 and position 2 stories were a little bit better, but that story that was just below the fold, we really would’ve preferred to see that rather than (another story) … which just happened to be the newest thing. So we had this idea, “Let’s change the model slightly.” Before, I said, whenever you come to feed, we’re going to take all the stories that are new since your last visit and put those at the top. Let’s just tweak that a little bit, and instead of taking all the new stories, we’ll take all the stories that are new to you.
Facebook has already tested this among 7,000 daily active users in July. With Story Bumping in place for these users, there was a five percent increase in stories seen from friends, an 8 percent increase in stories seen from pages, and a jump from 57 to 70 percent in overall stories read. Facebook also tested the Story Bumping change with 80 percent of its own employees, and Backstrom said that there was only one complaint. Right now, Story Bumping is in effect for roughly 99 percent of desktop News Feed users, but the team is still tweaking it on mobile.
Another change Facebook announced Tuesday is Last Actor, which takes into account the last 50 interactions a user has done, such as liking a page’s post or writing on a friend’s timeline. This information is wrapped into the News Feed ranking system, so people with whom you’ve engaged most recently will be given more weight. For instance, if you’ve been liking and commenting statuses from your new coworker or best friend (or sharing posts from your favorite restaurant’s Facebook page), Facebook will push those posts up higher in News Feed.
When Last Actor was tested among Facebook employees as well as select users, Backstrom noted that there was a bit of a bump in engagement and positive reaction, but more modest than Story Bumping:
This change was less impactful than (Story Bumping), but still a nice change for feed relevance. So how does this work? Essentially what we wanted to do was try and capture your current state of mind as you’re consuming News Feed and using Facebook. A lot of the important symbols that we have in feed ranking are kind of long-term things: what’s my relationship to my friends and that kind of thing. We wanted to make this more real time, “What am I consuming right now?” So we built this new signal where we take into account the most recent interactions that they’ve had.
Facebook also tested something it called Chronological By Actor, where there’s more chronologically-ordered posts from people users have engaged with most recently, but Backstrom said that this led to less engagement from users in tests, so Facebook is still playing with this.
Backstrom noted what many users have been saying, that people still want to see things in chronological order. However, Chris Cox, Facebook’s Vice President of Product said that there’s a vital difference in operation between Facebook and Twitter.
Its very important and critical for each Facebook marketers to know who are their influencers and who can be. People with more number of friends and who are more active on facebook ( by not posting but by liking/sharing/commenting on others's posts) can be the biggest assets in achieving a wider reach.