Facebook Is Guiding Publishers Through the Rough Waters of Recent News Feed Changes

Vice president of News Feed Adam Mosseri shared some 'basic guideposts' for publishers looking to ensure that their Facebook content stays afloat

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In the wake of a flood of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm aimed at drowning out fake news and clickbait, the social network threw a lifeline to potentially overwhelmed publishers.

Vice president of News Feed Adam Mosseri shared some “basic guideposts” for publishers looking to ensure that their Facebook content stays afloat.

Mosseri’s suggestions are fairly straightforward:

  • Content should be informative and meaningful.
  • Content should be authentic, and not misleading, sensational or spammy.
  • On the clickbait front, publishers should avoid headlines that omit information about the topics of their articles or sensationalize those articles, such as, “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions and Saw THIS … ,” or, “WOW! Ginger Tea Is the Secret to Everlasting Youth. You’ve GOT to See This!”
  • Pages should not try to “game” News Feed in order to boost distribution of their posts.
  • Information that is presented should be accurate.

Highlights from Mosseri’s post follow:

When ranking News Feed based on how meaningful each story is to each person, we look at many personal signals, such as how close someone is to the person or page posting, stories they’d want to talk to their friends and family about, spend time reading and videos they’d spend time watching. We also look at more universal signals like the overall engagement (likes, comments, shares) that a post has. Publishers should focus on understanding the audiences they want to reach so they can create content meaningful to them.

One of our News Feed values is that feed should be informative, because people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting—this could be a post about a current event, a story about a celebrity, a piece of local news or a recipe. We’re always working to better understand what is informative to each person so those stories appear higher up in their feed. Publishers should focus on creating content their audiences will find new, interesting, and informative.

We know there is misinformation on Facebook, and we take this very seriously. False information is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed and it erodes trust.

He also addressed Facebook’s efforts to keep its users safe, pointing to the social network’s Community Standards, and writing:

  • Keeping you safe: We remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. Learn more about how Facebook handles abusive content here.
  • Encouraging respectful behavior: To serve the needs of our diverse community, we may remove or limit audiences for certain kinds of sensitive content. This includes nudity, hate speech, violence and graphic content. Learn more about how we do that here.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.