There has been yet another algorithm update by the world’s most popular social network. This update looks to improve the quality of articles and news content turning up on user’s news feeds. Facebook are endeavouring to crack down on misleading clickbait articles and instead offer people things that they consider worthy of a reader’s time…
According to a post on the Facebook newsroom, the social networking site explained that they constantly use the wealth of data provided by user ratings in order to provide users with the most relevant stories on the top of their news feeds. They also announced that to continue this constant improvement, past work has included updating ranking on the news feed to take into account bounce rate and the amount of time that users spent reading a post after opening it. Software engineer Moshe Blank and research scientist Jie Xu had this to say on the matter;
“Building on this work, we’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them… with this change, we can better understand which articles might be interesting to you based on how long you and others read them, so you’ll be more likely to see stories you’re interesting in reading.”
Facebook recently made changes that have allowed them to take the quality of external content into account, such as the new browser within the mobile app. These have allowed them to draw on a wealth of data and begin to consider the quality of content in order to improve user experience.
Facebook updates move towards limiting time off-site
The new algorithm change is yet another in an ever-increasing list of changes intended to limit the amount of time users spend off of the network. These have included cracking down on clickbait and giving more power to pages. If successful, the update will help engage users with multiple examples of relevant content and limit instances of them needing to undertake external search.
How will this effect pages?
Facebook have commented saying that the roll out of the new update shouldn’t have much of a significant effect on pages that already focus on quality content over clickbait and follow the network’s publishing best practices. However, depending on industry and the manner of each piece of content, pages could begin to see a slight increase (or decrease) in referral traffic. Here’s hoping it’s the former!