Facebook’s News Feed update now considers time as a valuable metric

News Feed Update FYI: More Articles You Want to Spend Time Viewing

Facebook announced this week that they are once again making changes to their News Feed as part of their “Feed Quality Program.” Based on feedback from users, they’ve determined that the actions people take, such as liking, clicking, commenting, or sharing content, don’t always paint a full picture of their sentiment. This change will affect both Instant Articles and posts you interact with through Facebook mobile.

This change comes on the heels of a similar news feed update made back in February. Through research with their “Feed Quality Panel,” people reported having a better News Feed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with. Combining today’s announcement with this earlier change, brands can expect their stories to rank higher when:

  • There’s a high probability the user will take action on the post
  • The user reports wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed
  • The user repeatedly spends time interacting with content from that source

How will this affect my brand page?
Facebook is just now starting to roll this out across their platform, and will continue doing so over the next few weeks. The short answer? They don’t expect most Pages to see any major changes in referral traffic. With that said, they’ll also be making an update to cut down on how often people see multiple posts in a row from the same user or brand in their feed. If you have that one friend who over shares on the baby photos, this could be life changing.

Will this increase my earned engagement?
Potentially! I think it’s great that Facebook is now taking into account the time a user spends with content. Personally, I don’t engage that much with the content I see in my feed. I’m short on time and prefer to quickly scan headlines and posts to stay up to date with the friends and brands I care about. This doesn’t mean though that if I don’t engage with a friend or brand for X number of days, that I don’t want to see their content anymore. Quite the opposite! For users with behavior like mine, this is great for both consumers and brands.

What are your predictions for how this latest News Feed update will affect brand pages?

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