Facebook has tweaked the News Feed, again. This time it has been done to rank status updates of friends higher than those from Facebook pages followed. The changes were introduced after it was realized that users tend to write more status updates when they see updates from their friends.
According to the blog post from Chris Turitzin, Product Manager, News Feed Ranking tests are conducted regularly to work out how user experience can be enhanced. During one such test it was realized that when users see text status updates from their friends they write one themselves. On an average 9 million more status updates were posted each day while the test was on. This led Facebook to show more status updates from friends on a user’s News Feed.
The same however, does not hold true for status updates from pages followed. Users may not attend to a status update from a page if it wasn’t engaging. This has led to categorization between updates from friends and pages. Facebook is working on its ranking algorithm to differentiate between the two and rank posts from friends higher than those from pages.
On how pages can keep followers engaged, Turitzin says it’s a difficult question to answer but page owners should know their audience and post what they would like to see. Embedding a link in status updates through link-share was found to be engaging, Turitzin informed. Such posts ‘provide a more visual and compelling experience’ thus fetching ‘more likes, comments, shares and clicks’. It’s the message in the end that matters and page owners will have to get more creative to put their stories across.