Wednesday 09 October, 2013

Facebook Algorithm Changes – Story Bumping and Last Actor

Facebook recently made changes to the way it ranks organic posts. These changes are important to marketers and casual users alike. The main change is that EdgeRank, the algorithm it has used to rank posts, is gone and several new and improved algorithms have taken its place.

EdgeRank analyzed content for its level of engagement and then bumped the posts with the most engagement to the top of new feeds. Engagement means likes, comments, shares and any other kind of interaction with a post.

The new algorithms are supposed to be smarter and to produce a better user experience. The company hopes that through these changes, you’ll see the content you want to see, rather than what’s simply the most recent.

Story Bumps

Story Bump takes popular stories you may not have seen when offline and bumps them up in your feed when you’re logged in. The stories may not be the latest, but they’re more likely to be interesting to you.

For example, a friend may have posted something at 8 in the morning when you weren’t on Facebook. But when you log in at 3 in the afternoon, these popular stories are waiting for you so you don’t miss them. Facebook made this change because it found through A/B testing that users are more likely to read a popular story and a timely story.

For marketers this is a great improvement. It helps the shelf life of your posts. The key is to get lots of engagement. Make the kind of posts that get comments such as question or opinion posts. With a great deal of engagement, your post will get seen by more users.

Last Actor

The other major change is Last Actor. It takes the last 50 people you’ve interacted with on Facebook and uses those to decide what to show in your feed. Interacting could mean messaging or commenting, or it could be simply looking at someone’s profile.

For example, if there’s a guy or gal that you’re interested in and you spend time gazing at their profile pictures, you’re going to see more of their activity in your feed. This is private, of course, so no one will know about your secret crush. Last Actor is already rolled out for both desktop and mobile.

If you’re a marketer, this means that the more time you get followers to spend on your page, the more they’ll see your posts. You should give them plenty of stuff to do and read on your page.

More Changes Coming

There were small changes made as well, but Story Bump and Last Actor were the big ones. Facebook is testing many new features in order to become a better experience for its users. The company recently started publishing information about these algorithm changes on its blog in the same way Google does.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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