So one of your Facebook friends just shared this awesome picture of their trip to Bali. They posted it at 4 Pm Bali time which means you were probably in REM sleep mode when they made the post. Though you don’t talk to this friend very often on Facebook, you knew they were going and wanted to see pictures! With the recent update to the Facebook ranking algorithm you just might see the pictures after all, even if they were posted 10 hours ago.
Facebook is aiming to improve the News Feed experience for all its users by giving them the information they want to see. Recent testing showed that there was an increase in sharing, commenting and liking organic stories in the news feed when coming from friends as well as an increase in engagement for organic stories coming from pages. Previously, Facebook users encountered an unranked information stream, ordered chronologically, that would place an abundance of less than interesting information into a users news feed. Users would have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see the high engagement posts from friends. With the average number of news feed stories from friends and pages being around 1,500, a user’s ability to see all the posts they wanted to see decreased.
This update makes it easier for Facebook users to view the items that are important to them and their social circle. For marketers, this change does not influence how promoted posts or paid advertisements appear in the news feed, so keep that social strategy intact. As Facebook moves closer and closer to ranking high engagement and relevant posts organically, it makes us wonder if Facebook is testing the waters to bridge the gap between itself as a social network and itself as a search engine. What do you think?