Facebook’s Latest News Feed Tweak Boosts Reach, Hurts Engagement (Report)

By David Cohen Comment


The most recent change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm actually provided a boost to pages’ reach, according to the latest data from social analytics and reporting firm Locowise.

Locowise saw surges in organic page like growth and organic post reach in January, as well as a drop in percentage of total reach acquired by pages via buying advertising on Facebook.

Findings by Locowise for January included:

  • Organic page like growth of 0.16 percent was up 14.29 percent from December 2015.
  • Organic post reach of 10.31 percent of pages’ total audiences soared 39.51 percent versus December and marked the highest percentage in the nine months Locowise has been compiling these numbers, besting the 8.43 percent it recorded in August 2015.
  • However, the news was not all good for page administrators, as January’s post engagement rate of 4.45 percent was down 11.18 percent from December and marked the lowest figure in the nine months Locowise has been compiling these numbers, down 32.68 percent from the high mark reached in May 2015.
  • Videos reached 12.25 percent of total audience and engaged 4.73 percent of people reached.
  • Photos reached 10.47 percent of total page likes and engaged 4.52 percent of those reached.
  • Links reached 9.82 percent and engaged 3.63 percent.
  • Status updates reached 5.02 percent and engaged 4.13 percent.


Locowise said in a blog post detailing its January 2016 findings:

So what did Facebook tweak? It started using more qualitative feedback to show more relevant posts to users. Actions people take are not the main factor when Facebook determines which posts to show in News Feed. There are hundreds of other variables. These include more subtle forms of behavioral data, such as how long users spend viewing a post.

The qualitative feedback tweak shows that engagement is not necessarily what Facebook optimizes News Feed for. Time spent on site is a much more important metric for Facebook.

Readers: What did you think of Locowise’s findings for January 2016?