Facebook’s goal with the news feed, as they describe in an announcement today, is to show everyone the right content at the right time.
Occasionally people would miss the stories that are important to them due to how Facebook’s news feed ranks content. They have been getting feedback from users saying something they’re only interested in a post from a friend or a Page at a specific moment, like while a sports game or TV show is airing.
There are other times when posts that are a day or two old, and no longer relevant, surface in a user’s news feed.
To combat these issues, Facebook has announce they’re releasing an update to how they rank content in the news feed. This update will look at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.
Factor 1: Trending Topics
One way Facebook will rank timely content higher-up in the news feed is to show stories about trending topics as soon as they happen. With this update you will know immediately what your friends or favorite Pages are saying about the most relevant topics.
Going forward, when a friend or Page you are connected to posts about a trending topic on Facebook, that post will be more likely to receive a higher position in your news feed.
Facebook explains that 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.
Factor 2: When People Like Or Comment
Facebook’s second update to the news feed looks at the rate at which people are liking or commenting on a post.
For example, if people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this will tell Facebook that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date.
With this signal it place, content iss more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.
Will This Affect Your Page?
Facebook says they’re rolling out these changes gradually and do not expect posts to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.