Now Showing: Rich News Feed Stories for Likes of Facebook Pages

Facebook is testing a new rich feed story for when your friends Like official Pages. Instead of showing up as a simple one-line text only story, users see the profile picture of the Page and a description from the Page’s info. These stories are both significantly larger and more compelling, and could drive new Likes to Pages without the need for paid advertising.

The new stories only appear for Likes of official, claimed Pages, and not for Likes of  Community Pages. Users see the profile picture and description appended under the “[Name] Likes [Page name]” text which is identical to to the traditional feed stories for Page Likes. The description is taken from first section after Website in a Page’s info tab. Rich Page Like stories for business Pages show the Company Overview, and stories for musicians show the Biography.

By including the profile picture and description, users seeing the story get just enough information about the Page to be enticed to click through and learn more. Facebook recently released a Page discovery tool, showing the company is focusing on how to get users to both learn about new Pages and make their Likes more accurately reflect their real world interests. Offering the implicit recommendations of Pages by friends in such a central location is an efficient way to accomplish these goals, since those in your network probably have similar or intriguing interests.

Rich feed stories for Likes could have a big impact on marketers.  Many Pages buy ads to generate new Likes, but strengthening the news feed as a viral channel for Page growth would decrease the need for these ads.