Facebook Reduces Visibility of Feedback to News Feed Stories By Pages

News feed stories generated by official Pages no longer use text to represent the quantity of feedback received, and instead use counts next to small thumbs-up and speech bubble icons to denote how many people have Liked or commented on the story. The change significantly de-emphasizes conversations happening on Page stories. This may decrease Liking and commenting on Page stories and stunt Page growth.

Previously, content shared by a Page to the feed displayed feedback under the story on separates lines reading “[#] people like this” and “View all [#] comments”. The relatively high visibility led users to add their own Like, or click to view the comments and leave their own. Now, the quantity of feedback received is displayed as count icons in-line with the timestamp and the “Comment”, “Like”, and “Share” buttons directly beneath the story.

Users may recognize the icon view of story feedback from aggregated link and aggregated Places checkin stories. Clicking either of the icons displays both feedback counts as text, and expands the two latest comments. Clicking either icon again retracts both the feedback counts and comments into the icon count view.

Stories published to the feed by personal profiles are unaffected by the change, and still show Likes in text-form, and the two latest comments as expanded. Page admins can still go to their Page’s wall, click “Settings” and use the “Auto-Expand Comments” option to choose whether two of the latest comments on the wall’s story will be expanded by default, but this has no effect on how stories are presented in a user’s news feed.

Brands and others who own official Pages could get less interaction by this change, as the comments and Liks sections are slightly less visible.

[Thanks to Brittany Darwell for the tip.]

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