On April 21, Facebook announced that it was, once again, making a change to the method it uses to decide which stories are shown at the top of a user’s News Feed.
Announcements like these tend to concern many publishers – especially if they have been getting a lot of referral traffic from Facebook – since even minor changes can have a major impact on social media referrals. However, this particular change could be a very positive thing for publishers who focus on high-quality content and creating a positive user experience.
What does the change entail? Facebook will now consider how much time is spent viewing an article after it is clicked as part of its collection of factors to determine News Feed ranking. That is, if all other things are equal and users spend more time looking at Article A after clicking on it than they do with Article B, then Article A will have a greater chance to be shown in a user’s News Feed. Additionally, Facebook states that it “will also be looking at the time spent within a threshold so as not to accidentally treat longer articles preferentially.”
It seems like this update’s primary focus is to improve the experience of mobile users since the announcement made specific reference to mobile web browsers and Facebook Instant Articles. In addition to this change, Facebook also plans to modify its algorithm to improve News Feed diversity “to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.” Continue reading “How Will Facebook’s Latest News Feed Changes Affect Publishers?”