Facebook has always been a way for people to stay connected with other people, but in recent years it has also become a prime news source as users share news articles on the social network. Now Facebook is altering its News Feed to identify and suggest news stories based on users’ consumption behaviors. For those producing news, Facebook’s newest update is something to pay special attention to.
The News Feed algorithm is undergoing some helpful changes that are designed to put more high-quality content in Facebook users’ feeds more often. The algorithm change will work to track users’ interests and provide relevant content in their News Feeds based on the content they are engaging with on Facebook.
Facebook’s research shows that average people are more interested in high-quality news articles about current events than memes. What this means is that users’ News Feeds will begin to filter out memes and promote high-quality news articles.
Additionally, when users’ Facebook friends comment on a news article, it is more likely to reappear in their News Feed so that users can read their friends’ comments. Another feature will give users links to articles similar to the articles they have just read.
Though Facebook hasn’t revealed the criteria for what it believes to be high-quality content, it is clear that low-quality content (e.g., click bait) will appear in the News Feed much less.
What does this mean for content providers? Publishers will have to work harder to produce high-quality content that is relevant to their readers. Here are three things content providers can focus on when considering what content will be more likely to be shared widely on Facebook:
- Be informative: Facebook users come to their News Feeds to stay connected and be informed. Content providers need to always be on the lookout for information that their readers don’t already know.
- Be relevant: Content providers have to keep their audience in mind. Keep asking the important questions, such as, “What do my readers find interesting? What will be the most helpful to my readers?”
- Be consistent: Facebook users should know a news source by its voice, posting frequency, or message. Content providers need to be a source their readers can rely on.
Facebook reports that referral traffic from its site to media sites is up more than 170 percent in the past year. The great thing is that you have the ability to become your own media entity with your website. Keep producing high-quality content and distribute it via social media channels; let your audience do the rest.
For ideas on content strategy and pitching story ideas to journalists, contact EverSpark today.