The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.
While you and I were on vacation this summer, the folks over at Facebook were busy. They launched a Facebook for Business blog, and one of their regular features will be on the News Feed. Those posts, dubbed News Feed FYI, are designed to pull back the curtain and shed some light on how the darn thing works.
Here’s what you need to know, per their first three blog posts on the subject:
How News Feed Works
Every time you visit your News Feed, there are on average 1,500(!) potential stories from friends and brands. To make it easier to consume updates, News Feed makes an educated guess based on signals from you, including, for example:
- How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
- The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
- How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
- Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post
Older Posts Are Getting A Second Chance
If you’ve been noticing older posts reappearing in your News Feed (I have), that’s because News Feed now pulls out organic stories that you might have missed but are still getting lots of likes and comments.
High-Quality Content Gets Defined
Obviously, Facebook wants to make sure News Feed is only showing you high-quality content. To that end, they conducted a survey to find out what we, the users, consider high quality.
They used the survey results to “build a new machine learning system to detect content defined as high quality.” It looks for things like how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality, how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages.
Facebook offered some tips to help businesses produce high quality content and optimize for engagement and reach (which I tweaked):
- Make your posts timely and relevant
- Build credibility and trust with your audience by sharing useful information
- Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
- And then ask, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”
Do you think Facebook’s stab at being transparent will help your Facebook marketing effort?
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Image courtesy of claremont.org