News Feed algorithm tweak: Status updates from pages moving down

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Facebook announced Tuesday another change to its News Feed algorithm, this time involving status updates. Some page admins last year found that plain-text status updates (or status updates including a link) were doing well in terms of reach. However, Facebook found that engagement was lower for these types of posts.

The social network decided that since status updates from pages behave differently than photo, video and link posts, they should be treated differently. While users may see more status updates from friends, pages may see a decline in reach for these types of posts, writes Facebook’s Chris Turitzin, Product Manager, News Feed Ranking:

As a result, the latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see.

The move is to prompt more pages to take advantage of Facebook’s more visual link share format, instead of posting a link within a status update (as illustrated above). Turitzin notes that the new and improved link share format (which pulls a large image from the website linked to) has led to enhanced engagement and provide a more visual experience for fans.

He emphasized that there’s no magic bullet format that page admins should be using:

In general, we recommend that you use the story type that best fits the message that you want to tell – whether that’s a status, photo, link or video.

Readers: What do you think of this decision?