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Facebook is giving users the ability to choose what they see in their News Feeds, after years of relying almost entirely on its special algorithm to choose what to show its 1.44 billion users.

Of course, Facebook won’t be doing away with its algorithm anytime soon, but it is giving more power to the users to customize what they see in their feed. Essentially the update is a redesign and expansion of the News Feed Preferences feature available since last November, but it also includes some big changes for how you use the biggest social platform on the planet.

You can now prioritize the friends and Pages you want to see first, and posts from these profiles will appear at the top of your feed with a star to signify its importance in the upper-right corner.

The new feature also includes a feature which shows the Pages and friends which have been popping up most often in people’s News Feeds over the past week, so you can easily unfollow overposters or other people you’d rather not see. This also has a page which shows recently unfollowed users if you decide to reverse your decision.

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Similar to SnapChat, the update has a new discover section which displays Pages Facebook thinks you might be interested based on your other likes.

The new features are already available on iOS, and will be available on Android and desktop in the next few weeks.

facebook-video

In the wake of Facebook’s successful video service, the social media giant is making two big changes for advertisers and users. Facebook announced it will be adjusting its new feed algorithm to reflect interactions with videos, as well as changing how it charges advertisers for video views.

The update will be rolling out over the next coming weeks.

While Facebook has already included likes, comments, and shares on videos, the new algorithm will also consider factors such as whether a video was unmuted or viewed in full screen.

Facebook said it believes the new factors are strong indicators that users specifically chose to see a video, and it will use the factors in ranking videos within users’ news feeds in the future. This also means that those who watch a large number of videos on Facebook will likely start seeing even more in the close future and those who do not tend to engage with videos should see fewer in their feed.

While the first change relates to videos shared organically on Facebook, the social media platform is also making changes that will affect promoted videos.

Starting today, Facebook says it will charge advertisers only if a video is watched for 10 seconds or longer. In the past, Facebook charged advertisers based on video impressions, which meant advertisers were charged the second the video started played.

Advertisers who prefer to be charged based on impressions can do so if they wish, but the new system provides a better guarantee users purposefully watched the ad you were charged for. The new option is like the result of many advertisers’ complaints that they were being charged for video views only because they started autoplaying as users scrolled past them.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook unveiled several big upgrades to its current platform of products and services this week during its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The biggest announcement has been rumored for some weeks, but the social media giant also had a few other interesting changes hidden up its sleeve that will allow the platform to be more fully integrated with the rest of the internet.

Messenger is a Platform Now

Of course the big news from the conference is Facebook’s decision to officially launch Messenger as its own platform, which will allow developers to more freely integrate features from Messenger into other apps.

For example, Facebook demonstrated how users may be able to order from an online retailer, then change the order or shopping details later using the Messenger app. You can find out more details in the official announcement.

360-Degree Videos are coming

It was announced that spherical, 360-degree videos will be coming to Facebook at some point in the near future. These spherical videos will also be brought to the Oculus VR platform.

Embeddable Facebook Videos

Facebook is quite proud of the success of its video service and it is making it easier than ever to share videos you like from the site. Soon, videos uploaded to Facebook will be embeddable across the web. This provides clearer incentives for content creators to consider uploading videos directly to the social media site rather than through competitive platforms such as YouTube.

Faceboo LikesIn the next few weeks, you are likely to lose at least a couple likes on your Facebook Page. It isn’t a sign people are losing interest in your brand however. Facebook has just announced they will stop including likes from memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts in the totals for likes on Pages.

The company issued the warning in a blog post yesterday, saying the move will help give businesses more accurate information about the people following their Page and improve ad targeting efficiency.

As the post explains:

Over the coming weeks, Page admins should expect to see a small dip in their number of Page likes as a result of this update. It’s important to remember, though, that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook.

According to Facebook, Page owners should not expect big drops. The average Pages should only lose a few followers, but any Pages who have paid for Likes or used other artificial means of inflating their total may see substantially larger losses.

Facebook is also warning Page administrators with an alert within Insights: