Facebook has announced three updates to its’ News Feed, in changes that aim to ensure each user is delivered the content that matters most to them. This involves the never-ending balancing act between content posted by friends, and content shared by Pages.
As Product Manager Max Eulenstein and User Experience Researcher Lauren Scissors write in their blog post, “This balance is different for everyone depending on what people are most interested in learning about every day. As more people and pages are sharing more content, we need to keep improving News Feed to get this balance right”.
The first update addresses the times when your News Feed might be looking rather sparse. Previously, Facebook had held back from allowing back-to-back posts from the same source to appear, but these rules have now been relaxed, meaning that your News Feed will consistently have fresh content.
A second update gives more weight to posts from friends, but could potentially harm content from Pages. For users with many connections on the network, content shared directly from friends will now be placed higher up in a News Feed, especially from those friends that they engage with the most.
Facebook state that for users who like to read news and interact with Pages, this will still appear in their News Feed, but do add that “In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline”.
This update in particular could encourage publishers to develop better strategies for generating engagement (one of which may be using interest targeting), but it might be a few weeks until the impact of this update can truly be assessed. In the time being, the best option for a Page is to continue posting meaningful and engaging content.
The final update is the result of user feedback, with stories about what your friends have liked or commented on appearing lower in the News Feed, or not at all. This means that content coming directly from a source is given much higher priority.