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Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Now Factors in Viewing Time

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Now Factors in Viewing Time

Facebook is going beyond the basic signals of liking, commenting, and sharing to now factor in viewing time as a ranking signal. Previously, Facebook had factored in reading time as a ranking signal, as well as bounce rate, but this week’s viewing time update is a bit different.

Based on the data collected by individual users, Facebook will now make an attempt to predict how long people will spend viewing a piece of content. This will be based on how long you have spent viewing other types of content in the past. Facebook will then rank the content, prioritizing the content it believes you will spend the most time looking at.

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“This update to ranking will take into account how likely you are to click on an article and then spend time reading it.”

With this update, Facebook says ultimately you will see more articles that you’ll be interested in reading. The company says this new ranking signal will not take into account Instant Articles as a factor, it will only take into account how long a person spends viewing content regardless of type.

Other Updates

Facebook snuck in another update with this announcement which could have an impact on Pages. According to user data, Facebook says people like to see posts from variety of sources. In other words, they don’t want to see posts from the same Pages all the time.

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Going forward Facebook will try to diversify the sources of posts in people’s News Feed by not having too many posts from the same page put together in a row.

Will this update affect your Page? Facebook had this to say:

“We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes. Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic, and some Pages might see minor decreases.”

So your mileage may vary with this update, as always it always comes down to quality of content. Good quality, shareable content usually ends up getting seen


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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