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Quality First: Facebook Offers New Insights On News Feed Algorithm

Brands seeking to improve their presence on Facebook have a new playbook to use. Late last week, the social media network released an exhaustive set of guidelines for publishers seeking to amplify their reach and engagement on the news feed.

The new guidelines came following news of tests Facebook is running, exploring the possibility of creating separate feeds for personal and public content. Brands reported that the experiment, which is running in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Serbia, Slovakia, Guatemala, and Cambodia, decreased the organic engagement and reach of their Facebook posts in the aforementioned countries.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of news feed, addressed the test, telling users and brands alike that no changes to the news feed are imminent.

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further. There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention.”

Whether or not Facebook decides to create a separate feed for pages and other non-friend related content, their news feed guidelines for publishers still offer valuable tips to consider. For brands, these insights can help create better content that can in turn reach larger audiences organically and be amplified more effectively through advertising spend.

Key Takeaways For Brands

Be “Meaningful” and “Informative”

Facebook states that the purpose of the news feed is to connect users to stories that are most relevant to them. To be, in their words, “meaningful” and “informative” requires brands to create posts that are helpful to their audiences. Thinking deeply about the service or product you are selling and telling a story that shows users how it can be beneficial to them is one major approach to take.

Facebook recommends that brands analyze data using tools it’s created like Facebook Insights or its tracking pixel to make better content decisions. It also suggests that brands diversify the kind of content they create. Think about innovative ways you can utilize all of Facebook’s platforms like 360, live and instant articles in addition to photos and videos.

Be “Accurate” and “Authentic”

Facebook works hard to determine what is and isn’t genuine on the news feed. Providing your audience, in their terms, with “reliable” and “credible” information is key to generating higher reach and engagement.

A major component of being “accurate” and “authentic” is ensuring you’re not giving your audience low-quality content. This especially pertains to sharing website links. Ensuring that your brand’s websites are optimized for speed and high performance will help it rank higher with the Facebook algorithm.

For a more exhaustive look into Facebook’s news feed publisher guidelines, read them here. Visit this page for a video explanation from Facebook’s head of news feed.

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