Facebook works to optimize your News Feed by featuring content that’s relevant and what you want to see. The most recent change to Facebook’s algorithm will help to do just this.
Now, the algorithm is taking into consideration how long you actually spend looking at a post. This will help to determine what’s most meaningful to you and what will show up higher in your News Feed.
Facebook understands that you may be interested in a post, but don’t necessarily want to share it and have it appear on your Timeline and in other News Feeds. In fact with the new algorithm, the most popular post could be one with minimal engagement (e.g., “likes,” comments, or shares).
So how does the new algorithm know how long you actually spent looking at a post? It takes into consideration if you’ve just scrolled right past a post or if you took a couple seconds to read it and look through the likes and comments, but didn’t act on the post yourself.
With this information, the algorithm will put more posts like the ones you spend time reading higher in your News Feed. This way, you’ll be getting content you’re most interested in up front, instead of buried in your News Feed.
What does this mean for businesses using Facebook? There’s more of a need to focus on engaging content that will catch their audience’s attention so they spend longer looking at a post. While post engagement is still important, it’s also important to have people spend more time looking at posts in order to increase the likeliness it will show up in their audience’s News Feeds.
Many would also argue that this new change to the algorithm is paving the way for content posted through Facebook’s Instant Articles to be given a better placement in News Feeds.
Facebook is just starting to roll out the new algorithm, and it will be interesting to see what changes we see to content placement in our News Feeds.