They’ve done it again: Facebook released another update to your News Feed. Over the past two years, there have been numerous revisions to the News Feed algorithm, all with the focus of making it more customer-centric and user-friendly. Following the F8 Summit earlier this month, it’s no surprise that new features are being implemented quickly and often. To summarize the changes, Facebook stated the following in its April 21 announcement,
“As we work to improve News Feed, we make updates to help make sure you see the most relevant stories at the top.”
While this is a rather succinct update, there is a lot of data and research behind how your articles will be determined as “of interest” or not, based on viewing activity. After polling thousands of people about how to improve their user experience, Facebook realized that there was dissatisfaction with News Feed content and that their previous metrics were not necessarily aligned with people’s interests. Now, Facebook will monitor the average time spent viewing an article to inform the level of interest instead of measuring link clicks, comments, or reactions. Time measurement will begin once the page is fully loaded and take into consideration length of articles. Facebook believes this increment of time reflects your level of interest or disinterest, and from there, an algorithm will extrapolate what else may be of interest to you, and thus populate the top of your News Feed.
Tech Crunch pulled together a nice visual to make sense of this highly data-driven change:
The aim of this update is to provide people with articles and posts they’re most interested in reading and will spend the most time looking at. Great! Who doesn’t want more articles they’ll actually read in their News Feed?
The second part of their announcement was that your News Feed will include more content from a host of sources. Facebook listened to the people and now aims to deliver diverse articles and information to its users. You can say “so long” to the days of repetitive ads and posts from the limited outlets. Variety will be the spice of life once this new feature is fully rolled out to the public.
What does this mean for you as a brand?
Much like other Facebook News Feed updates, you’ll need to hone your messages for a specific audience instead of focusing on reaching as many people as possible. This change means you’re more likely to get your articles, advertisements, and general promotions in front of people who actually care about your business without paying a cent!
With this level of personalization and focus on user interest, your brand has a stronger platform to engage your audience and prospective customers because they’re already inclined to like your industry or specialty. Take this opportunity to refine your Facebook marketing strategy, and watch how the interactions with users changes. Our bet is that your website, blog, and social media accounts get more traffic and better conversions.
Let us know how your business is tackling the latest News Feed update in the comments section below.