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Facebook’s Latest Changes for Business – August 2013

Like the changes to Facebook News Feed?

Like the changes to Facebook News Feed?

Off the back of a successful second quarter that surpassed all expectations, Facebook has announced some new features. Facebook’s never-ending journey to remain relevant to both users and marketers has seen many changes recently and some are quite significant.

Here are some of the major changes:

1. Farewell to Edgerank

Facebook has been based on an algorithm fondly known in the industry, as Edgerank. Facebook has never openly declared what impacts the prioritisation of content in the News Feed and it has been largely left to professionals using Facebook to discover the factors that affect whether users see your content.

This week Facebook discussed for the first time, some of the factors that affect the way content is sorted on the News Feed, putting the previous algorithm to rest and announced enhancements to make News Feed more relevant. Basically Facebook takes all of the content generated by your friends and the pages you like and assigns each post a rank based on how relevant it is to you and how popular the content is. So how does your business page content become more relevant and popular? It is now easier than it used to be:

  • Shares have more impact than Likes, which in turn have more impact than clicks on a post. So focus on sharing content that is likely to be shared by your fans.
  • ‘Story Bumping’ shows content that a user may have missed previously. Rather than showing the latest content on the News Feed, a user will see content deemed relevant by the Facebook algorithm, that they have missed on a previous visit. From a marketing perspective, Facebook testing showed significant increase in engagement of posts from business pages, when the post was bumped to the top.
  • ‘Last Actor’ is a new feature that will favour content from the last 50 interactions a user has with people or pages in their News Feed. Historically the NewsFeed algorithm favoured longevity in relationships on Facebook, making it much harder for small business pages, with low engagement, to build ongoing relationships. This new feature will allow your content to be seen more frequently, by those who have liked, shared or commented in their last 50 interactions.

 

2. Top Comments versus Recent Activity

Top Comments versus Recent Activity

Top Comments versus Recent Activity

One of the latest introductions is the ability to sort comments against your posts by either those that are most popular (Top Comments) or in chronological order (Recent Activity). This gives you some flexibility in how you view your content and prioritise engagement. This function is only available for those who have switched on Comment Replies.

3. Embedded Posts

Embeddable Facebook Posts

Embeddable Facebook Posts

This great new feature is similar to Twitter embedded posts and allows you to embed a post from your Facebook page into your blog or website. The post will be interactive, allowing viewers to Like the page directly from the post, click on hashtags to see similar posts and follow a post so that they are notified each time a comment is shared on the post. This feature has been rolled out to a select few and is coming to the rest of us soon!

So what do you think? Do you like the changes? Have you noticed a difference?