In January, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its News Feed algorithm to prioritise ‘meaningful interactions’ from friends, family and groups. As a result, we can expect to see less content from brands and businesses and more content that encourages meaningful interactions between people.

So, what is considered as meaningful interactions? Here’s a breakdown of what Facebook qualifies as ‘meaningful’…

 

1. Comments

In his latest Facebook report, Zuckerberg wrote, “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

As a brand, this means you should create quality content that focuses on initiating conversation between users. Consider asking questions and writing about relevant topics. As a result, users are more likely to see your content if their friends and family are commenting on it.

 

2. Reactions

Facebook values reactions. If a user clicks on the ‘love’ icon vs. the ‘like’ icon, your content will receive a minor boost in the news feed. The same goes for all of the other reactions: ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Sad’ and ‘Angry’.

3. Comment replies

Facebook not only favours comments, but also replies to comments. Under the new algorithm, replies to comments signal that a piece of content is sparking conversation between users. This means brands should be publishing content that encourages users to tag a friend (or multiple friends) in the comments to start a conversation.

 

4. Sharing links via Messenger to a group of friends

Facebook deems content more meaningful if a user shares it with a friend (or a group of friends) via Messenger, rather than sharing it to their wall.

Content that is shared in this way is more likely to be favoured in the algorithm.

 

5. Engagement over shares

In Facebook’s eyes, simply sharing a post is not ‘meaningful’ enough, so their new algorithm goes one step further. In order for content to be prioritised in the news feed, it must be shared and get engagement on that share.

 

 Other Facebook News Feed ranking signals

According to Facebook the five ‘meaningful interactions’ listed above are priority signals. However, they’re not the only signals that the algorithm pays attention to. The following are lower ranking signals, but still worth considering:

  • Average time spent on content – Seemingly the more time a user spends on a piece of content the better, but Facebook are still yet to confirm this since their update.
  • When it’s posted – This is an indirect signal. If you post content at a time where users are likely to be online, it is more likely that it will receive more engagement.
  • Story type – Is your post a status update, video, link, photo, or live video? Facebook’s report specifically mentioned live video as often “leading to discussion among viewers”, which gave us a clue as to what their new algorithm favours.
  • Completeness of page – As a brand, the more fields you fill out on your Facebook page, the better. This is so that Facebook and potential followers can get a clear idea of what you’re about and the legitimacy of your business.
  • How informative the post is – In 2016, the old algorithm favoured ‘informative posts’. However, the term ‘informative’ was based on a survey of users and therefore deemed subjective. For some, ‘informative’ could mean news and, for others, it could mean DIY tips or celebrity gossip. It’s not clear whether this has changed since the new algorithm update in 2018.

 

This story was written by automotive PR specialists Torque Agency Group.