Prepare to see fewer stories from applications in News Feed, as Facebook announced a change to its News Feed algorithm that will emphasize what it calls explicitly shared stories from apps, or stories that users share by taking explicit actions, and cut back on implicitly shared stories, or stories automatically shared by apps without actions by the users.
Facebook announced the change in a Newsroom post:
We’ve found that stories people choose to explicitly share from third-party apps are typically more interesting and get more engagement in News Feed than stories shared from third-party apps without explicit action. We’ve also heard that people often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared without taking an explicit action. In the coming months, we will continue to prioritize explicitly shared stories from apps in News Feed over implicitly shared stories.
This means people will see fewer implicit stories from third-party apps in the future. However, people will continue to see interesting and relevant content from third-party apps that their friends have explicitly chosen to share. You can read more about this update on our developer blog here.
The social network added in the developer blog post:
Over the past year, the number of implicitly shared stories in News Feed has naturally declined. This decline is correlated with how often people mark app posts as spam, which dropped by 75 percent over the same period.
Facebook also offered the following tips to developers:
Share Open Graph stories explicitly: You can request to mark your stories as explicit during the Open Graph submission process. Explicit Open Graph stories usually include a clear Facebook sharing control in your app. Here’s an example from Instagram (pictured above), which recently stopped sharing stories implicitly.
Share in a more personal way with the message dialog: The new message dialog lets people share your app’s content in a more personal way by displaying it in a conversation thread on Messenger:
Just like the share dialog, the message dialog does not require Facebook Login and supports Open Graph and App Links. Over 200 million people use Messenger every month, and top apps such as Redfin, Goodreads, and others are already in the process of integrating this dialog. Add the message dialog today to your iOS and Android apps.
Drive desktop traffic to your mobile app with Send to Mobile: Send to Mobile gives people a shortcut to install your mobile app when they log in with Facebook to your website. For example, when people log in with Facebook to Rdio on the Web, Send to Mobile will display a notification in a person’s Facebook mobile app to download and install Rdio. Best of all, once you’ve upgraded to the new Facebook Login, Send to Mobile works automatically without any additional effort. Learn more about Send to Mobile.
The new like button for mobile apps and a Web-based share dialog: On average, the like and share buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily, and at F8, we announced that we will bring the like button to mobile apps. The mobile like button gives people an easy way to share content from your app with one tap. Try out the mobile like button, the beta version of which is available for iOS now. We are planning a broader rollout — including Android availability — soon.
Finally, we also introduced a new share dialog for the Web that supports friend and location tagging in addition to Open Graph, bringing it to feature parity with the share dialogs for iOS and Android. We encourage all apps to use the share dialog for the Web instead of the feed dialog.
We look forward to working with you to integrate these new sharing tools and help you make your app stories more explicit. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us through support or by joining our Facebook Developers group.
Readers: What do you think of the latest change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm?