Did you see a recent change to the way the Newsfeed appears on your Facebook wall?
Then this post might be worth reading, because there has been a new algorithm change in Facebook and I am sure a lot of you would not even have noticed it.
For people who are still trying to understand what an “algorithm change” means, it is basically a change to the rule that decides how the various posts appear on the wall of your Facebook profile.
The next obvious question will be… will I be impacted with this change and if at all yes, then what is the impact? It will entirely depend upon how much involved you are with your Facebook account. And this algorithm change will decide how you and your friends and fans see the posts in the news feed.
And if you are run a business page on your Facebook account, then this algorithm change will decide how your fans see the content that you post.
Okay! So now let’s straight away jump into what these changes are.
Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm Change 2014
The Facebook newsfeed algorithm change 2014 was announced in one of the blogposts at Facebook, by By Erich Owens, Software Engineer and David Vickrey, Engineering Manager. This is what they had to say –
Our goal with News Feed is to show everyone the right content at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show. There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore. Our latest update to News Feed ranking looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.
That quite explains the reasons for this algorithm change and also the thought behind the changes. There were primarily 2 aspects where these changes are going to be affected on. Let us look at these.
Showing Trending Topics
One of the biggest impact of this algorithm change is the introduction of the “trending topics”. With this change, your news feed will now show topics that are trending. What this essentially means is that, if you and your friends are posting about something that is a a latest news and is a “hot topic of discussion”, then this post will likely be the first one to show up on your news feed. This is what they had to say about this change –
One way we show timely content higher-up in News Feed is to show people stories about things that are trending as soon as they occur, so you can immediately know what your friends or favorite Pages are saying about the stories of the day.
I am really unsure as to how much of this will actually impact me as an FB user, but one thing is sure for a fact that your wall will now look more like a news channel, if you are somebody who keeps posting about some of the latest topics of interest. Facebook claims that they have statistics that prove that this is a better way of improving on engagement.
Early testing of a small percentage of posts has shown that this update on average leads to a more than 6% increase in people engaging with these stories (e.g., more people share, comment, like or click).
How much of this statistics is right is yet to be seen. But if you are a normal Facebook user, this will not impact you much but as a business user, you might see some change to the way your wall appears.
Taking into consideration when people like and Comment
This has to do with the engagement on a specific post. Until now, Facebook used to look at the total numbers of likes that a post would get, in order to determine who high up to show that specific post. But with this change they will also start looking at the time when these likes, comments and shares are happening. According to Erich,
Currently one of the signals we look at is the total number of likes that a post has received when determining how high up to to show it in News Feed. With this update, we are going to begin looking at when people are choosing to like, comment and share.
If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date. Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.
This means that the time when a post gets maximum engagement will determine the time, when such posts will show high up in your newsfeed. This will also be a factor that will decide which stories are to be bumped up on the news feed.
Will this impact your account or, Page?
If you are business and you are running a Facebook page, you might just see some changes though it might just not be too much noticeable. But if you are an individual, the changes might not be too obvious.
But the only worry with these changes are on businesses rigging the system to post content that might actually not be relevant to their page or, audience but is a trending topic. This will kill the entire process of engagement. Though how much of this happens and how this will impact Facebook is yet to be seen