Soon, Facebook Page admins might not have to choose between muting their community by only showing their own posts, and displaying a wall full of inane, off-topic, or offensive user content. Facebook’s User Operations team told SocialVoice “The ‘Top Posts’ filter is part of a structured test on several Pages to allow admins to surface the most engaging user-contributed Wall posts.”
A rollout of the filter would reduce the need for Pages to employ community managers or use Page moderation tools, and would improve the Page browsing experience.
Like the news feed’s default Top News filter, Top Posts gives posts with Likes and comments more prominence, allowing a Page’s own community to influence what user content visitors to a Page see first. Posts that aren’t necessarily favorable for the Page but that receive Likes and comments could also be surfaced. Instead of seeing the old “[Page] + Others”, “Just [Page]”, and “Just Others” filters, Pages with access to the tested feature show “Top Posts”, “Most Recent”, and “[Page]”.
All Page admins currently have the choice of making the default tab of their wall display only the Page’s updates, or user updates as well through the Page admin interface. The latter option often leads to a wall filled with low-quality content, or worse, one that requires constant moderation to keep it from being overrun by spam and hateful users harboring grudges.
Some of the world’s largest brands default their Page walls to display user content because it fosters a sense of community, but must hire community managers who work around the clock in order to remove offensive content. To increase moderation efficiency, they have to license tools by companies including LiveWorld, Parature, and Buddy Media that automatically flag or delete posts with certain keywords.
The costs of these employees and tools prohibit smaller brands and non-business Pages from using a community wall. If the limited tests of the Top Posts filter go well, Facebook may roll out the feature to all Pages. This could put some community managers out of a job or decreasing tool licensing, but would improve the Facebook user experience in general.
The Top Posts filter could also improve the loyalty of users who share high-quality content to Page walls. The additional prominence of their posts would snowball into more and more Likes, validating the enthusiasm of these users for the Pages they care about and leading them to post more frequently.
[Thanks to Bryan Person for the tip.]