Facebook’s at it again. The social behemoth has tweaked its News Feed algorithm to focus on time spent looking at a post — regardless of engagement.
“We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.”
-Ansha Yu, Facebook software engineer
The implications of this move could be interesting to brands. We had previously been encouraged via another News Feed algorithm update to share link-style posts instead of pictures. This move presented a dilemma to some pages, including CCC, because photo posts continued to draw more engagement while link posts now had a greater reach. So we mixed our post types in order to satisfy Facebook’s wishes and our audience’s.
Now Facebook is pushing even harder towards brands sharing link posts with its ‘time spent reading’ update. People rarely spend much time looking at photo posts, unless someone uploads an entire album or an infographic. You’re more likely to linger on a post while reading, whether it’s text or an article.
This move fits in with Facebook’s overall goal to be your destination for news. However, it seems that Facebook users don’t want to focus on the news when they visit the site. On the CCC page, we’ve always had a much higher engagement rate on photos than articles even if fans are clicking through to read the articles.
So let us ask you, Facebook users: What type of content do you prefer on Facebook?
A) Newsworthy articles
B) Fun/inspirational pictures
C) Updates from family/friends
D) Special offers from brands
For now, we’ll continue to offer a mix of newsworthy articles in our areas of expertise (marketing, writing and social media) along with fun pictures and tips in a visual format. But it will be interesting to monitor this development and see if Facebook is able to move closer to the news destination it wants to be.
Where do you see Facebook’s future — news, entertainment, connecting people or something else?
CCC’s Reporter Extraordinaire,