Facebook’s Latest Feature: Mentioned In

Facebook has officially announced a new element of the news feed that they’ve been experimenting with for awhile: “Showing Stories About Topics You Like.” Facebook now places a strong emphasis on displaying content that has been tagged with Pages that you already like.

Facebook used the following example:

Fans of Dwight Howard, but not necessarily of the Bleacher Report, would see this object. Again, Facebook has been experimenting with this type of news feed distribution for awhile. However, typically when Facebook takes the time to make announcements such as this we see drastic changes in the data. Continue reading

Facebook’s Latest Feature: Trending

Facebook has announced that they’re rolling out a new feature called Trending. This offers an opportunity for brands to get more exposure for their content if they’re featured in the top stories of a trending topic.

Facebook Trending

Instead of simply stating the topics that are trending, Facebook has included a bit of context as to why a topic is trending. In their example, the television show 24 is trending because “Fox Sets May 5 Premiere for ’24 Live Another Day’.” This feature will roll out slowly for users in select countries. Continue reading

Facebook Announces More Links In The News Feed

Facebook has announced another significant tweak to the news feed algorithm (often called EdgeRank). You can read their blog article in full or check out our summary of the changes here.

What Did Facebook Announce?

  • More Links will be displayed within the news feed.
  • Links that are commented on by friends will receive a bump in the news feed.
  • Memes will receive a decrease in the news feed.

More Links In The News Feed

Facebook has noticed a trend of people consuming more Links. Facebook is now placing a heavier importance on Links and how Links are consumed on mobile devices. Facebook emphasizes the importance of mobile and how these browsing behaviors may be different than desktop consumption.

Facebook Links

Comment Stories

Story Bumping (unveiled this summer) takes old posts and reintroduces them into the news feed at a later time. With Comment Stories (when a friend comments on a Link) their friends will now be more likely to see the old post. This creates more engagement for the users and the Page with the post.

This places a new emphasis on acquiring fans that are friends. If your audience has Affinity with each other, this will increase the likelihood of your objects being exposed in the news feed more often with Story Bumping.

Memes Penalty

Facebook used their announcement to once again bash memes. We recently discussed how Facebook may identify memes, but Facebook got more specific. Facebook mentions “a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook.” This seems to imply that memes via Facebook Photos are penalized less than memes on Imgur, livememe, and makeameme.

Regardless of where a meme is hosted, it’s quite clear that Facebook wants less of them on their platform, especially if they’re not a Facebook Photo. As always, we recommend avoiding memes in general.

What Can You Do To Take Advantage Of These Changes?

If you’re a publisher, the good news is that you don’t have to change much. If you’re a photographer or heavy photo publisher, you may see a decrease in exposure. The news feed has finite space. If Links have a heavier weight—Photos have less.

  • Don’t be afraid of posting Links
  • Consider decreasing Photo posts in lieu of posting more Links
  • Build fans that are friends with each other to benefit from Comment Stories
  • Avoid using memes, especially those not hosted on Facebook

Ultimately this announcement is great for Pages that rely more frequently on Links than Photos. If you’re not a publisher-type, don’t worry, Facebook still wants “to show the right content to the right people at the right time.” If your Photos are engaging, your audience wants Photos, and you should be fine.

How Facebook Handles Memes

A few months ago, Facebook announced they would be punishing “meme content.” There was a lot of concern on how Facebook would actually enforce this. Facebook hinted at using machine learning to identify meme content, while others suggested that it’s too hard to differentiate. But it appears that we may have an understanding of how they categorize meme content. Facebook has recently started to ask for more direct user input into how they display objects in the news feed:

News Feed Survey

This survey is appended to certain objects in the news feed to provide a sort of check-and-balance system. Facebook also implemented a more robust dialogue when hiding an object in your news feed:

Facebook - What's wrong with this post?

Continue reading

What Did Facebook Announce, and How Does It Impact My Strategy?

Facebook announced a few specifics regarding changes coming to the news feed algorithm (EdgeRank). Overall the algorithm still works mostly the same, with the exception of a few new improvements. We’ll explain each change, and what you can do about it to stay on top of your strategy.

What Happened?

Facebook held a small gathering to explain their latest changes to the news feed.  A few key take aways:

  • There is still an algorithm determining the news feed
  • New Story Bumping Signal
  • New Last Actor Signal
  • Future New Chronological by Actor Signal
  • There will not be a purely chronological change

Continue reading

Live Blogging Facebook’s News Feed Event

Frequent updates can be found on our Twitter account (@EdgeRankChecker)

We’ll be live-blogging Facebook’s News Feed event today at 1pm ET. Facebook will be “taking a deeper look at the ranking algorithms that determine which stories appear at the top of your feed” (‪#‎EdgeRank‬) & discussing “a specific update to organic ranking that’s coming up.”

We will be the first tell you how this will impact your strategy. Updates will be displayed chronologically below.

RECAP

How is EdgeRank calculated as explained by Facebook? From Facebook directly:

The News Feed algorithm responds to 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

Sounds similar to EdgeRank?

“For Page owners, this means their most popular organic Page posts have a higher chance of being shown to more people, even if they’re more than a few hours old.”

Facebook looks at recently created stories and processes it through the EdgeRank algorithm. It looks a few difference factors: the relationship between the users, how much engagement it has, and it renders it a score. This is exactly how we’ve explained EdgeRank in the past.

// Read our full official recap here //

Continue reading

Viral Reach Skyrockets Due to Facebook’s Major Insights Fix

[Updated: 03/01/13] // An example of a massive increase new Viral Reach added //

Facebook announced an “Important Update to Page Insights Reporting” last week. Facebook blamed bugs as the cause of Reach and Impressions being under-reported. In the post they suggested the following possible outcomes for Pages:

Overall, we expect most Pages to see:

  • Total reach to  stay the same or increase for most Pages
  • An increase in paid reach if you ran News Feed ads
  • An increase or decrease in organic reach, depending on many factors such as the composition of your fan base, when and how often you post and your spending patterns
  • A change in metrics computed from reach and impressions, such as engagement rate and virality
  • We know that accurate data is fundamental to building and improving your Facebook presence. We are taking this very seriously.  We have already put a number of additional quality and verification measures in place to prevent future bugs and resolve them quickly if they arise.

In the post, they specifically mention monitoring the overall impact “starting on Monday, February 25.” We decided to dive deeper into the numbers to see how Page owners are being affected.

What Did We Study?

We took a look at Monday, February 18th vs Monday, February 25th. We looked at Pages that posted on both days. Our sample size was roughly 1,000 Pages. Facebook specifically mentioned the following metrics to be impacted: Total Reach, Paid Reach, and Organic Reach. We opted to include engagement (Likes, Comments, and Shares) along with Viral Reach into the study. We averaged each day by post for each Page, then looked at the median when comparing Pages.

Continue reading

EdgeRank Checker Milestone!

When we started EdgeRank Checker in the spring of 2011, we analyzed about 12 Pages in our first true run. Over the following week, we analyzed a couple dozen. After the first month, we had hundreds of Pages that had connected to the site. Fast forward two years, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve now helped over 500,000 Pages organically increase their exposure on the news feed!

ERC_500K_Thanks

Our journey from 12 to 500,000 has been a wild and exciting ride. We’ve helped some of the largest brands in the world, and we’ve helped small and local businesses as well. It all started with a common goal: understand how to maximize a brand’s exposure in the news feed. We’re honored to have helped so many brand managers and agencies along way.

We want to thank you, our customers and our users, for allowing us to do what we love. It’s a new year, and that means new beginnings. We have a lot we want to accomplish this year, and we look forward to continuing to be the leader of news feed optimization.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Facebook Adds New Object To News Feed For Pages

Lately, Facebook Page Admins have complained to Facebook regarding decreases in Reach. Facebook has made changes to improve the quality of their news feed, but sometimes at the cost of some Pages. The latest significant change to the news feed increased the importance of Negative Feedback. After much confusion and anger over the Pages that were negatively impacted, Facebook quickly rolled out the “Pages Feed”. The “Pages Feed” did little to nothing to help the exposure of Pages within the news feed.

However, Facebook recently rolled out a new news feed object that creates a call to action to your Pages Feed:

Pages Feed Object

The new object is a relatively small adjustment to the news feed, but is an obvious call to action to drive more traffic to the little used Pages Feed.

Is It Here To Stay?

We expect this new object to slowly fade out of existence, along with the Pages Feed widget. Typically anything that requires clicking a small link in a secondary (or even a tertiary) navigation menu, will hardly be used at all.

Nonetheless, it’s a positive sign to see Facebook make attempts at improving Page’s exposure within the news feed.

Improved Site Speed

We’re excited to announce that we’ve taken substantial steps to improve EdgeRank Checker’s speed! We’ve decreased page load times and other time consuming tasks.

After our initial launch, we experienced rapid growth that stressed our servers. During that time, we’ve worked hard to maintain our server’s capabilities to keep up with increasing demand. We’ve recently taken more drastic steps to handle our current load, and keep load times at reasonable lengths of time.

We want to personally apologize for any inconveniences that our prior site speed issues may have caused you. Thank you to all of the customers who were extremely patient and supportive. We look forward to the future and continued improvement to the tool.

We sincerely appreciate your patience, and hope that you find EdgeRank Checker more convenient to use.

Cheers,
Chad Wittman
Founder, EdgeRank Checker