If you like a bunch of Facebook Pages, you’ll occasionally see updates from those Pages in your News Feed.Each post you see is good promotion for the person or company who owns the page.
But lately, something on the social network has changed. Posts are no longer being seen by everyone who “likes” a particular Page. Some companies have seen a dip in referral traffic from Facebook as a result, and they’re not very happy about it.
That’s because Facebook recently changed its EdgeRank, an algorithm that determines what to show users in their News Feeds.
Facebook addressed the concerns yesterday morning in a press conference. Its spokesperson, Will Cathart, said overall Facebook Page reach hasn’t declined; companies are still reaching as many people on average as they were before the algorithm changed. It’s just that now people/Pages with the best posts are getting rewarded and the worst are getting penalised.
EdgeRank was changed to help unclutter users’ News Feeds; Facebook doesn’t want to bombard them with posts they won’t like so it’s using discretion before blasting out a Page’s message.
Cathart outlined four things EdgeRank now looks for before spamming a user’s News Feed with a Page post:
- Has a user interacted with the Page’s posts before?
- Have the user’s friends interacted with and liked the Page’s new post?
- How has a user interacted with similar posts in the past?
- Have others complained about the Page’s new post?
For further clarification, Cathart made a Star Wars analogy.
“Let’s say Darth Vader posts that he and Luke Skywalker have confirmed that they are father and son,” Josh Constine, a TechCrunch reporter who was at the event, writes. “To determine if Yoda saw this post in his news feed, Facebook would look at: whether Yoda had Liked or interacted with posts by Vader in the past, if Leia and Han Solo Liked the relationship post by Vader when Facebook showed it to them, whether Yoda tended to interact with relationship change posts in the past, and whether anyone else had complained about Vader or this particular post by the Sith Lord.”
“The problem we face with the news feed is that people come to Facebook everyday but people don’t have enough time to check out absolutely everything that’s going on,” says Cathart.
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