Friday, 12 August 2016

Facebook Algorithm is changing again

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Well, no one wants to see dead stories circulating on our Facebook feed! It seems as if Facebook is just trying to play with what we see and what we don’t on our newsfeed. It can become a little fuzzy but the ranking of our stories is according to an algorithm that changes every now and then. It encourages exposure for a lot of users but chances differ for stories that are posted implicitly and explicitly. Facebook’s algorithm is not a paradigm but a binary code that creates ripple effects all over your feed. No one can forget the constant game requests and silly updates that flooded your notifications, annoying you enough to log out of Facebook.

Just recently, Facebook set forth an announcement on the algorithm update which focuses on lowering the visibility of posts with inadequate content while raising the profiles of significant ones. The update has prioritized what is shown to you, with no more boring posts to scroll through. When we all started off with Facebook, our newsfeed felt like a rabbit hole of unnecessary posts that wouldn’t end. However, the algorithm evolved and changed according to the needs of its users. Everybody wanted to see what their friends are posting but they would only draw their attention if the content was interactive enough. The recent change to the algorithm will act like a filter, through which all the unwanted posts will sieve out.  

The change came with some supercharged features that would help Facebook identify the types of posts you prefer to see on your feed. The different reactions on each post even if it is a like, a comment or a share, influences the probability of that content appearing on the top of your newsfeed.

This update will not influence the reach or referral traffic for the majority of the pages that you follow. However, if you visit a page often you might see some increases in referral traffic, whereas other pages might see some decline. In addition, an algorithm update surfaced in July 2015 which made it easier for users to customize and adjust their news feed settings. These suggestions and preferences were shaped to the users’ interests.

Friends that post tedious and monotonous content can take a back seat and all of the buddies that you interact with can have their posts, comments and likes at the top of your feed. On top of this, Facebook plans to favour video posts more due to the increase in hype for videos. In just one year the number of video posts per person increased to over 75% globally. Recent surveys have shown that this Facebook update lead to, on average, a substantial increase of 6% in engaging people with the stories they wanted to see.

If you plan on engaging with another user or with your target audience, then this update can be a real booster for your content, but only if you provide them with something captivating.

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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