Facebook announced an overhaul of the design for its News Feed last week, but why did the social network choose to go in certain directions with its primary destination? News Feed Product Manager Greg Marra spoke with Jennifer Van Grove of CNET and shed some light on the topic.
Facebook’s algorithm, which decides what users see and when, has become a hot topic in recent months as the company tweaks it to ensure that users see the content with which they’d be most likely to engage. During a meeting Friday with selected members of the media, Facebook representatives explained that there’s no malicious intent with the changes in its algorithm. Based on how users have engaged with posts in the past, Facebook wants users to see what kinds of stories they’d be most willing to like, comment on, and share.
Facebook set the marketing world abuzz when it began testing two features: opt-in notifications for page updates (so users can be pinged whenever a page they have chosen posts) and a separate pages feed (where users can see all posts from all pages they’ve liked). Jason Weaver, CEO of Shoutlet, a social media marketing service that works with top consumer brands, told AllFacebook recently that he thinks this is a chance for companies to re-establish connections with fans.
Actor George Takei has been a fierce opponent of the way Facebook determines which users see certain posts from pages. After reading an open letter from an aggravated page administrator to Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Takei said he’s writing about Facebook’s algorithm — which many people refer to as EdgeRank — in his upcoming book.
Facebook’s changes to EdgeRank have had a chilling effect on visibility and engagement for page owners. And this visibility cold front has suspiciously developed at the same time the social network is deploying enhanced methods for promoting posts for both pages and profiles. Coincidence? Maybe. But what if I told you that the kind of posts we like to share most — links and pictures — have taken a larger hit than text-only posts?
Facebook pages want their fans to see all of their posts. Facebook fans want to see all of the posts from their pages. It appears that Facebook is listening to these complaints. Earlier this week, we reported that fans can opt in to see notifications whenever a page they like updates. Sister site Inside Facebook wrote Friday that the site is testing a separate pages feed, allowing users to see updates from just pages they’ve liked in a separate news feed.