Facebook’s Latest Changes

As many marketers know, Facebook doesn’t quite “sing it from the rooftops” when it implements new functionalities or services, or changes things up a bit. Here are just a few of the bigger changes in the world of Facebook this summer…so far.

#1. Algorithm

The News Feed algorithm has changed a bit - in a good way. Previously, marketers had to rely on their fans to take an action on a post in order to prove to Facebook that it cared about what the page was posting. Many of us marketers complained that Facebook users have different habits, and just because they don’t like, comment, or share a post, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in the content. Most users don’t even know that’s mainly how the Facebook algorithm works, so they aren’t doing what Facebook expects them to do.

Facebook has finally realized that this may not be the best factor in determining what kind of content a user really wants to see in his/her feed, so they’ve updated the algorithm. Now, Facebook is taking into account how much time a user is spending on a story in his/her News Feed. If a user scrolls through a post quickly, Facebook assumes the user cares less about it, versus a story that is actually read. “We infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.” Facebook says this will not have a significant increase on distribution, however, this is a step in the right direction for marketers using Facebook.

#2. Video

Not only is the time spent on stories changing the Facebook News Feed algorithm, but Facebook has also said that video is the future of the platform. Now, if a user turns the volume up or makes a video full screen, “Facebook has updated News Feed to infer you liked the video and will show you similar videos higher up in your News Feed.”

#3. Moments

Although this is a separate iOS/Android app, Moments is a Facebook-fueled app that is great for uploading and organizing photos from a particular event, such as a wedding, where friends can all add their own photos, and everyone in the group can share their photos. This is a cool app if you want to have a collaborative photo album with friends.

#4. Messenger

If you reside in the U.S., Canada, Peru or Venezuela, you can now sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account. Groups of friends, regardless of whether or not they are Facebook users, can now share photos, videos, group chats, voice, video calls, and more. All a user needs is a phone number.  Why is Facebook being so generous to non-Facebook users? Now Facebook can collect personal information like phone numbers and friends lists from non-users and add it to the advertising database. 

#5. Welcome

Last but not least is a neat little feature rolled out recently called a “Welcome Note” for businesses. Now when a user checks into a business on his/her phone, he/she will receive a welcome note from the page. The great part is that this note is customizable by the business. Feel free to welcome users to your business, tell them about a special, or perhaps offer them an incentive for checking in.

Which recent Facebook update have you enjoyed lately? Tweet us @ThinPigMedia !