Facebook Takes Away Clickbait + More: 2016 Algorithm Updates
Any avid social media user knows that Facebook is constantly changing its algorithms and updating its interface. Some changes are welcomed with open arms and others, not so much. As 2016 continues to move along, this social media mogul has rolled out numerous updates and E-Power wants to give you an overview of the major changes!
This month, Facebook rolled out the algorithm change that is working to improve misleading links that leave you stranded and typically bouncing off of a page, known as clickbait. With some brands looking at the quantity of users clicking and not the quality of their content, Facebook wants to penalize these accounts. Effective August 2016, their algorithm now:
- Measures the amount of time that a user spends on a shared link, another site, or Instant Article, pushing longer session links to the top of News Feeds
- Recognizes & classifies clickbait-like articles, such as 23 Things Parents Should Never Apologize For, functioning much like a spam email filter
- Identifies accounts and Pages who consistently post misleading links, reducing their rankings on users' News Feeds
Friends & Family are a Priority (Again)
Facebook decided to go back to its roots and start pushing content from friends and family higher up on News Feeds. When users interact by sharing, liking, commenting, or watching a piece of content, Facebook's algorithm boosts posts from that particular source for that user. What does this mean for businesses' content? Don't worry, Facebook advises that your feed should inform and entertain still, thus making their platform open for all ideas and sources of information. It's important that brand Pages focus on providing meaningful content that their follower base enjoys in order to see success with organic rankings. The more shareable your content is, and the more it's distributed by Facebook users, the better chance you have of reaching new and existing fans.
Drops in Organic Reach?
Piggybacking off of Facebook making personal content more valuable on News Feeds, business Pages are worried that the new Facebook algorithm updates are hindering their organic reach. According to SocialFlow, there was a 42% drop in publisher reach from January 2016 to May 2016. What's the cause? Facebook has been quick to respond on their business platform which acts as a mode of communication and help desk to corporate users. They noted that publishers will most likely see a drop in organic traffic and this may be due to:
- Audience relevancy
- New algorithm updates giving prominence to personal posts
- Their algorithm featuring publisher related content so they don't oversaturate users' News Feeds with branded posts
In order to combat this drastic change, Facebook recommends:
- Partnering branded content with paid advertising to reach a broader, more targeted audience
- Creating great content that entertains, provokes thought, and adds value, so that users want to share it for you
- Using Facebook to achieve specific business objectives like increasing number of downloads or boosting online sales
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