Impressions & Engagement 1 Week After Facebook’s New Hybrid News Feed

As an initial disclaimer, this blog post is attempting to merely reveal what the first week post-new hybrid news feed data is showing. We expect the data to most likely return to similar levels before the new hybrid news feed, but we do feel it’s important to monitor & report the changes.

What does the data say?

The initial data is showing that impressions are down across the board, the average Facebook Page is experiencing
-33% impressions per post. Engagement (as we reported earlier) is up across the board. The average Facebook Page is experiencing +18% Likes, along with +17% Comments.

Summary:

  • Impressions -33%
  • Likes +18%
  • Comments +17%

Why is this happening?

Of course Facebook is the only one who can truly answer this question. However, our best guess is that EdgeRank has been modified to have a faster time decay. With the new hybrid news feed comes more objects in the feed, as Top Stories happen at a faster rate than previously. Facebook most likely increased the speed at which objects time decay. It seems that this has created a more “honed in” EdgeRank effect. Meaning, EdgeRank is creating Top Stories for users who are more likely to engage and dropping less engaging objects into Recent Stories. This would explain why engagement is up, but impressions are down.

How does this change what I’m doing?

We expect our users to see their Suggested Post Frequencies to increase due to the potential increase in time decay. As we preach, great content always beats out idea post frequencies. However, if you’re able to test out increased daily post frequencies, we’d encourage you to test how it affects your EdgeRank Scores.

How did we analyze the data?

We anonymized and randomly grabbed 1500+ Facebook Pages per post data over two time periods. The first time period was 9/9 – 9/14, the second time period was 9/23 – 9/28. The reasoning behind these two time periods was to compare the same days of the week to reduce any daily traffic/activity patterns. We also did not include 9/20 – 9/22 due to most likely erroneous data (most experts agree) reported on those days.

We averaged each Page’s posts data during that time period, data including impressions, likes, comments, and fans. We then created a summary document looking at how the changes impacted each individual Page. After analyzing the effect of the changes per Page, we summarized this data into the data we reported above.

Conclusion

As we stated in the disclaimer, it’s still way too early to tell what the implications of the new hybrid news feed has officially inflicted upon Facebook Pages. However, it is our intention to report the data as it happens and offer our best explanation of what may be happening. Typically with large changes in the past, the data tends to return to more normal levels after a few weeks. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide as much detail as we can.

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