Another Change in Facebook’s Algorithm

facebook-screen-300x180Advertisers are well aware that Facebook’s algorithm is every-changing. Although this is supposed to make it easier for advertisers, it usually tends to work the opposite way. Without looking at the individual changes themselves, the simple fact that they are always changing makes it difficult for marketers to gauge how effective their efforts will be. If you take a look at the changes, most of them make it easier for the big companies to get their messages across,  while making it increasingly more difficult for the small businesses.

So What Does This New Algorithm Entail?

Thankfully, the only difference is going to be in reference to third party applications. Basically, the news feed is going to favor third party app posts which are actually posted by users over third party apps which are automatically generated. For most of us, this won’t make too much of a difference. If you utilize applications to help your business, however, you may run into a few problems.

Facebook spokesperson, Peter Yang,  had this to say in a newsroom post about why the algorithm was once again changed:

“We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in News Feed than stories shared from third party apps without explicit action. We’ve also heard that people often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared without taking an explicit action. In the coming months, we will continue to prioritize explicitly shared stories from apps in News Feed over implicitly shared stories.”

Peter Yang also had some words of advice for application developers about their sharing settings:

“In general, we’ve found that people engage more with stories that are shared explicitly rather than implicitly, and often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared implicitly or automatically. Over the past year, the number of implicitly shared stories in News Feed has naturally declined. This decline is correlated with how often people mark app posts as spam, which dropped by 75% over the same period. In the coming months, we will continue to prioritize explicitly shared stories from apps in News Feed and Ticker over implicitly shared stories.”

What Does This Mean For Application Developers?

Developers will have to seriously rethink their sharing settings if they’re hoping to continue receiving as much exposure as they have been. Users who take explicit action to have posts shared probably won’t share as much, but (because, or perhaps in spite of this) these posts are also much less likely to be marked as spam. Too many of your application’s posts marked as spam could get you temporarily suspended. Obviously, this isn’t great for general exposure either. Automatically generated posts are those that most people mark as spam, and they tend to get considerably less engagement anyways. Shift your sharing settings so you have less (or no) automatically generated posts, and more which people may choose to share themselves.

What Does This Mean For The Average Facebook User?

The average Facebook user will also notice drastic differences. Primarily, there will be much less of those annoying automatically generated posts clogging up your news feed. While you’ll still be seeing application and games posts, the ones you will be seeing are actually shared by your connections. With less clutter in their news feed, the average Facebook user will be able to easier find their connection’s actual posts amongst everything else. Basically, there will be much less clutter.

Conclusion

Facebook’s new algorithm doesn’t mean enormous differences like some of the previous changes have. It does, however, entail changes in your news feed and the way some company’s will need to market – primarily those who utilize applications to help find more exposure for their business.

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