They did it again on Thursday - and I think all the changes we're now seeing are linked to two things
- their new newswire service see https://www.facebook.com/FBNewswire AND
- changes to newsfeeds to get rid of spam and junk content
The second change is of more consequence. First of all it has had a major effect on the Pages Newsfeed when in the Facebook Pages mode.
We now need to understand how our behaviour affects:
- what we see in future and
- the extent to which what we do affects what is seen by us and by others.
|Woman in Black reading a newspaper (1912) by Rik Wouters|
Oil on canvas
Royal Museum of Antwerp
I have a policy of trying to keep my Katherine Tyrrell Facebook Account personal to me and friends.
I then use my Making A Mark Facebook Page as the public and 'business' end of things I do in terms of posting my blog posts and highlighting my websites and then also sharing other things I read online with the public at large.
I used my Making A Mark Page to "like" a lot of other art-related pages such as art museums and galleries and I used to read the aggregated content of their feeds whenever I clicked the F top left when in Facebook Page mode. Plus often shared bits I liked.
The thing is that newsfeed has now disappeared to all intents and purposes.
What happened to your Pages Newsfeed this week
Anybody else think there's a whole lot missing in their newsfeed for their Facebook Page? (ie me, as my Page, trying to view other Pages I like but encountering adverts rather than real content)?Turned out I wasn't the only person who was wondering what on earth had happened to the news feeds.
Then I found this in the Facebook Help Community
- the question What happened to the option to display "most recent" in Newsfeed for a Page?
- and the answers - not very helpful
It's taken a while to try and work out what's happened - and my analysis suggests it's going to require a bit of a rejig to our reading habits and 'liking' behaviour.
The newsfeed problem
The problem as Facebook saw it was that we were all suffering from newsfeed bloat - and spam.
The biggest of Facebook's problems, though, is bloat. Your News Feed has no doubt become a sea of baby photos, videos, pictures, inside jokes—virtually everything but news.
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 and relevant to them.
What Facebook is doing
Facebook is going after and intending to shut down all those posts which 'played the system'. The Forbes article I listed below suggests there's going to be a lot less "like the cute kitten" features in future
Facebook is doing three things. It aims to:
- detect like-baiting better and keep them from swamping the stuff we've already told them that we like better (i.e. the cuddy kitten posts will be squashed!) Moral of the story - do NOT ask for likes, comments and shares on your Page - Facebook may think you're a link-baiter!
This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.
- target the pages which frequently repost the information that lots of other people are also posting. Which means
- filling your page with lots of popular stuff from other people almost guarantees you've done the Facebook Page equivalent of "shooting yourself in the foot"
- you need keep your content targeted to what your fans like e.g. mine will be strictly art from now on
- targeting spammy links - nobody likes spam and Facebook is going to make sure it disappears. What they're saying is if content doesn't get liked and shared then it may be interpreted as spam. This is the really IMPORTANT one - it means we now need to make sure that decent content gets liked and shared if we are to keep seeing news from that source. I don't mean go mad - but the messages imply that a Facebook post never gets liked and never gets shared it may well be treated as if it were spam
By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links.
What you now need to doYou might have done some of their surveys recently where they ask you to click through various posts in your news feed and say whether you liked them or not. If not, you will begin to wish you had.
- you 'like' the things you actually take time out to read - and value
- you 'like' the things you really like - otherwise you might stop seeing them and/or they might start to be regarded as spammy
It also turns out that the stuff we take time out to read is more highly valued if there is a delay between when we click to read and when we award the like. In other words a like after it's read seems to have more value than one awarded because of a headline you like the look of and awarded before you click to read.
This article is very good at explaining how the "like" activity actually works in terms of factoring into the Facebook algorithm and affecting what you see - Here's The 'Secret Sauce' That's Making Facebook More Addictive Than Ever
All I can suggest is this is the obvious reason why my news feed dried up. I'm not a serial liker. I am now going to have to learn how to 'like' more!
- DO NOT not like posts just to be polite - be much more discriminating
- DO make sure you hide the posts you really don't want to see in your feed (to do this you go to the drop-down menu next to the name of the person who posted it and click the option to hide the post).
The way round the Pages newsfeed problem #1
The way round this #2
- Go to your Interests page and click the Add Interests button.
- Click Create List.
- Search for the people or Pages you want to add to your list using the search box at the top of the page, or use the categories on the left to browse.
- After you've selected the things you want to include on your list, click Next.
- Pick a name for your list.
- Select a privacy setting. Choose Public if you want others to be able to subscribe to the list you've created.
- Click Done.
- Go to the list by clicking Home > Interests > More > click on the name of the list
- Click Share at the top of the page
It's also then easy to edit your feed and add in new pages to read which you don't have to like to read.
The great thing about these newsfeeds are they are bang up to date and only minutes old......
Katherine Tyrrell's Newsfeeds
More about the Facebook news feed changes
Here are some articles which describe what's been happening and what it means for people
- Mashable - Facebook's News Feed: What Changed and Why
- Business Insider - Facebook Is About To Inflict Further Punishment On Lazy, Boring Brands Who Pollute Your News Feed
- Forbes - Facebook And Twitter Changes Every Business Owner Needs To Know
- Avast - Facebook is spring cleaning your News Feed - I love the image on this one - it is just so accurate!
- Inside Facebook - ‘Related’ posts on News Feed now shown vertically
- John Haydon - Is Your Facebook Page Publishing News Feed Spam? - this suggests new behaviours that people need to adopt to avoid being seen as a spammer