Continuing its efforts to be vocal about its algorithm, Facebook confirmed on Friday that it has updated its News Feed ranking system. Every day, content from millions of Pages appears in News Feed, and now the company wants to make sure that the organic content people see from Pages is of the best quality.
Facebook already uses an algorithm to generate a personalized News Feed for each member. The algorithm, which was explained in a recent announcement, takes several factors into account to determine its position on the News Feed. Built while that’s helpful for delivering posts from friends, the social network needed to figure out what to do with content from Pages.
To help ensure only the best content was being delivered, the company surveyed thousands of its members and used that data to build a new machine learning system to detect high quality content. The new system uses factors, such as how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (hiding a page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages.
While testing the new version of the ranking algorithm, Facebook found that showing high quality posts higher up in News Feed resulted in a “significant” increase in interactions (Likes, comments, shares) with that content. Additionally, people in the test group also hid fewer stories overall. Unsurprisingly, more people value higher quality content and interesting stories from the Pages they’re connected to.
Facebook will be rolling out this update to everyone over the next few weeks. For Pages, the impact should be relatively small; however, Pages that are seeing good engagement on their posts could see further increases in reach. Continue producing high quality content and optimize your posts for engagement and reach. Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
Make your posts timely and relevant. Build credibility and trust with your fans; don’t just rely on memes to get your message across. If you’re consistently producing low quality content it’s likely that you’ll see a slight to moderate decrease in reach. Every post in News Feed is vying for someone’s attention, make sure what you’re sharing is worth it.
[Image credit: Sarah Marshall]
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.