Facebook made several announcements over the last week that impact your news feed.
Remember: the news feed algorithm controls what fans see on your Facebook page.
That makes every update an important one when it comes to your business.
Here's a breakdown of recent announcements, including the most important Facebook updates you need to know about.
Ready to kick your Facebook engagement up a notch? We're sharing 101 easy ways to get your fans clicking, liking, and sharing!
The Most Important Facebook Updates You Need To Know About
Facebook has a long history of pulling the rug out from under marketers.
Just when you get comfortable, BOOM!
Facebook updates the algorithm and marketers are left scurrying.
This always up-to-date list of Facebook updates will ensure you're never in the dark again.
Bookmark and share this post to stay in-the-know for 2017 and beyond.
1. Video Completion Rate
Facebook has changed its algorithm on how it will choose videos to be displayed in your news feed.
The good news for many marketers is that long-form content will see a boost.
"Today, we’re announcing a change to the way we rank videos in News Feed to adjust the value we give to how much of a video is watched. One of the signals we look at is “percent completion” — the percent of each video you watch — to help us understand which videos you enjoyed.
If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling — and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one.
As we continue to understand how our community consumes video, we’ve realized that we should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalizing longer videos."
What is Facebook Video Completion Rate you ask? Marketing Land explains,
“Various signals are evaluated to determine prominence, including live video status and engagement based on length of time watched, as a metric known as “percent completion.” A video that is watched at least halfway identifies the content as “compelling.” A longer video with this weight metric also indicates a bigger commitment, so longer videos may not necessarily be penalized in the News Feed as they may have been before.”
Facebook’s average completion measurement details how much or what portion of a video was viewed.
This is great news for any business or marketer dabbling in longer-form video content.
Prior to this update, you were lucky if it saw the light of day.
Now, there's the likelihood your long video will show up in your audience's news feed.
Granted - there's still a difference in view time given your country. Make sure to take that into account.
2. Stories (à la Snapchat) Are Coming to Mobile and Messenger
Have you heard? Snapchat and Instagram no longer corner the market on Stories.
"The same interface, which Facebook is aptly calling Facebook Stories, is currently being tested in the Facebook mobile app, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.
The stories feature is not yet available to all countries or users in all markets. In fact, Facebook is currently testing out Stories in Ireland, Chile, Greece and Vietnam but plans to bring the "new format" to more countries in the coming months.
Facebook Stories works identically to Instagram Stories, and by extension Snapchat Stories. You add photos and videos to your personal "story" for your friends to tap through, and everything you choose to share disappears after 24 hours."
But Facebook didn't just stop with the stories - the company launched “Messenger Day” a similar feature inside the messenger.
The Facebook Messenger Day lets people use expiring content to share their day with the people they’re communicating with and to bring context to any conversation. The new feature makes it very easy to see what your friends are up to, break the ice, and even meet up in real life.
Messenger Day comes with its own Snapchat-like facial filters and the possibility to doodle and decorate your image or video.
This move is part of Facebook's larger strategy to further engage Facebook users through the use of their camera.
That, and to tell rich stories through video.
You could call this yet another chink in the armor of Snapchat as Facebook continues their assault.
Facebook went on to say,
"The way people share today is different to five or even two years ago — it's much more visual, with more photos and videos than ever before. We want to make it fast and fun for people to share creative and expressive photos and videos with whoever they want, whenever they want."
3. A New Way to Discover People
This is one of the most interesting Facebook updates. According to TechCrunch,
"Facebook is rolling out a new section on mobile called “Discover People,” which encourages users to introduce themselves by updating their profile, then scroll through a list of upcoming events to see who else may also be going, as well as browse through lists of people in their city or who share the same employer."
They went on to share that, "the feature, designed to facilitate connections between people who aren’t already Facebook friends, could be used for business networking or even dating purposes, given its design."
Pretty interesting, right? Facebook is now taking connection one step further.
As of now, we all receive the current list of suggested friends based on mutual friends.
But this update takes our relationship building opportunities one step further than that.
Facebook will now use information you've shared about events you're attending, music you listen to, and books you read to help you find people with similar interests.
This provides an open door for businesses to create better communication with potential customers or current clients.
Of course, there's always room for spammers to make use of the change. That's inevitable.
4. Updated Signals to Show More Authentic and Timely Stories
Facebook listened when angry users lashed out about misleading advertisements and clickbait.
And after the US Presidential Election, they had no choice but to take a stand against fake news.
With the new signals algorithm update, Facebook can now determine the authenticity of posts.
1. New Signals to Identify Authentic Content
When ranking News Feed, Facebook looks at many signals personal to you, such as how close you are to the person or Page posting, as well as more universal signals like the overall engagement (likes, comments, shares) that a post has.
So, what can you expect with this latest update?
Facebook is now adding,
"Universal signals to determine whether a post might be authentic. To do this, we categorized Pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam or trying to game feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments or shares.
We then used posts from these Pages to train a model that continuously identifies whether posts from other Pages are likely to be authentic.
For example, if Page posts are often being hidden by people reading them, that’s a signal that it might not be authentic."
Now, before you panic about whether your content will fall into the news feed oblivion, Facebook says it's unlikely.
"Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases. Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences."
2. Updates to Real-Time Signals
Facebook has always considered the real-time signals from a post to determine relevance.
The problem was, many of those signals sent fake news to the top of the feed.
Source: Mark Zuckerberg
This update seeks to combat that.
"We will now take into account how signals change in real time. So now if there is a lot of engagement from many people on Facebook about a topic, or if a post from a Page is getting a lot of engagement, we can understand in real-time that the topic or Page post might be temporarily more important to you, so we should show that content higher in your feed.
For example, if your favorite soccer team just won a game, we might show you posts about the game higher up in News Feed because people are talking about it more broadly on Facebook."
Less spam on Facebook is good news whether you're a marketer or personal user.
Less junk equals less time-consuming content to worry about.
It also translates into a better user experience (fingers crossed on this) and accurate real-time news worthy of a like or share.
As you can see, there's one thing you can always count on. Facebook changes!
But this latest round brings exciting opportunities to marketers.
As the algorithm improves and tools evolve, connecting with your audience gets easier.
IF... you're willing to dive in and give these updates a try.
What Facebook update excites you the most? Which one will you test?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.