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January 22, 2014

Facebook Now Favoring Friends’ Posts Over Page Updates

Credit: Matt Harnack / Facebook

Facebook has given its algorithm a mini-overhaul resulting in a more personalized news feed that favors text-based status updates from friends over posts from Pages.

After running a number of tests, the social network discovered the more posts from friends users see, the more likely they are to post themselves.

“In our initial test when we showed more status updates from friends it led to, on average, nine million more status updates written each day,” news feed ranking product manager Chris Turitzin wrote in a blog post to announce the change.

“Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages.”

Facebook’s observation’s led it to tweak its algorithm so that news feed now classifies text status updates from Pages differently from those of friends.

The change means Facebook users will have “more content they want to see” in their news feeds.

This may sound like bad news for Page owners, but Turitzin said it simply means admins will have to change the style of their posts.

“Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types,” he said.

“Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see. Still, one thing we’ve observed is that when some Pages share links on Facebook, they do so by embedding the link in the status update.”

The new method of posting (shown above) adds an associated image to the mix. The picture appears just above the headline and a short description of the story.

The image replaces the traditional blue link that always appeared at the end of a post.

Using photos, Turitzin said, is more apt to result in likes, comments, shares and clicks.

“In general, we recommend that you use the story type that fits the message that you want to tell,” Turitzin said. “Whether that’s a status, photo, link, or video.”


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.