Proportionally to its income, Facebook has evolved the way in which it displayed content to its users: Gone are the years when it was based on a strict chronological order, a situation that broke with the functionality of “Featured Stories”, in the one that started the famous algorithm. However, it would not be until 2016 when we found the first hack, by limiting Facebook (and Instagram , by the way) the scope to 30% of total followers … up to 6% (in the worst case 3) that is expected after the Facebook Apocalypse of January 11, 2018. Friends, we present Edgerank
But what happened on January 11, 2018? That day, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook’s mission was to bring people closer together, although “they had recently detected complaints from the community about the volume of corporate content that are collapsing those moments of personal interaction”, and he announced “the biggest change on which we have developed Facebook (you can access the full statement by clicking here ) ”. What some have already dubbed the Apocalypse Facebook or Facebook Zero (and a real headache for community managers and social media managers ) was explained by the company’s newsfeed manager,Adam Mosseri :
- Less content from pages (posts and videos) is displayed.
- The most affected videos will be simple animations, video tutorials (“how to videos”) or recipes. From Facebook they are defined as “passive” experiences, during which no interactions occur.
- Consequently, the range and viewing time and reference traffic will decrease.
- Updates that include links to external pages will have less visibility as well.
- In this new scenario, the best positioned publications will be those that generate valuable conversations and interactions between users, especially comments of a greater length, as Mosseri himself assured in an interview published on Wired .
- These changes will also affect personal profiles, so the idea of using profiles to bully content is also ruled out.
WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM
Before going into the subject, it may be necessary to explain what an algorithm is . According to Wikipedia, “it is a prescribed set of well-defined, ordered and finite rules or instructions that allow an activity to be carried out through successive steps that do not raise doubts about who should do the activity.” Basically, what it comes to tell us is that it is an organization system based on original premises.
EDGERANK, THE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM
In line with the above, Facebook uses its own algorithm , called Edgerank , to decide which content to show its users based on three premises: affinity (previous interactions between the parties), weight (typology of shared content) and time (the new versus to the old). The announced changes come to dynamite what until now we knew about it.
REAL EXAMPLES ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF EDGERANK, THE ALGORITHM CHANGE
The measure, as it could not have been otherwise, has left the digital marketing sector in shock, especially those facebookcentric companies that depend heavily on the traffic referred by the Social Network to survive. Some examples of companies that have already suffered these consequences:
Vice . According to data provided by SimilarWeb, in December it received 19% of its traffic (12 million visits) from desktop devices from Facebook, a figure that fell 40% in January (taking into account the new audience data, which placed it at 15.8 million).
Buzzfeed . The aggregator, which mainly draws on Facebook, publicly asked its followers to download its official application on itunes after hearing the news, thus anticipating the collateral damage of the announcement.
According to a Reuters report (“ Journalism, Media and Technology Teends and Predictions 2018 ”) the consequences of the algorithm change could undermine freedom of expression in countries like Guatemala or Cambodia, where the independent media would be the most affected.
HOW THE MEASURE WILL AFFECT INFLUENCERS
Despite the fact that the influencing phenomenon has spread to other platforms (YouTube and Instagram, fundamentally), it is not surprising the fear of a “contagion effect” that affects this group, which initially started on Facebook with personal profiles, and which subsequently had to turn to pages. Will the algorithm be able to measure the number of posts that contain references to brands? Will it penalize them like other organizations? Will betting on influence marketing continue to be profitable ? Only time will tell…
ALGORITHM CHANGE AND FACEBOOK ADS
Immediately after the news about Edgerank was released, all eyes turned to Facebook ads, the guilty Facebook advertising platform, largely due to the more than $ 40 billion that the social network billed in 2017. Will prices go up? Will the algorithm changes affect your behavior? According to Mosseri, in words collected by Wired, “Ads is an independent system that does not apply to algorithm changes.”
STRATEGIES TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
- Decrease the frequency of publications. Apparently, the mantra “quality versus quantity” is once again taking hold with Facebook’s new algorithm.
- Create content that stimulates conversation and generates interactions with fans. Define your own storytelling and bet on more elaborate content that encourages interaction.
- In line with the above, do not encourage commenting on your posts, since Facebook will chase “ engagement bait ” (or if you do, be more creative). Powers publications asking for advice or recommendations.
- Now more than ever, opt for social listening strategies , advanced searches that favor micro-niche communication actions to detect business opportunities: monitoring is again key (if it ever stopped being so). Take a look at our Online Reputation and Monitoring services .
- Betting on video marketing , specifically live streaming (according to Facebook itself, generates up to six times more interactions). Question-answer videos (known as Q & A’s), whether they are live chats or analysis of previous comments are some of the formats that can help you increase lost engagement with your audience.
- Although it is not entirely clear if it will also apply to groups , the truth is that Facebook has empowered this type of space in recent times, so a priori it could be a good place where you can share content without the possibility of being banned.
- Create a group depending on your page . Available since July 2017 , the objective is to offer organizations the possibility of channeling the conversation to areas that until now have been closed to personal profiles. For example, from The Social Media Family we have launched a new group, Training in Free Digital Marketing , where we will be publishing content on digital marketing.