Last year, Facebook started testing a whimsical feature called On This Day, where users could see what they and their friends were doing exactly a year ago.
Many users noticed recently that the feature is no longer available. Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook that the test has been completed. It remains to be seen whether or not On This Day will return, but the feature had a passionate following.
Facebook recently made another change to its News Feed post-sorting algorithm, this time devaluing overly promotional posts.
Citing a user survey, Facebook will show fewer posts that solely push a product or app install, posts only promoting contests and posts that re-use the same content. The users in the survey said they wanted to see more posts from friends and pages they care about, and less promotional content.
Facebook announced this in a Newsroom blog post:
Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.
This change will not increase the number of ads people see in their News Feeds. The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories – including Page posts – people see in their News Feeds. This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us.
Facebook on Friday introduced easier ways for users to unfollow and re-follow pages, groups and people and control what gets into their News Feed.
By accessing the settings menu, News Feed will also show you whose posts you’ve seen the most of — breaking it down into people, pages and groups.
Greg Marra, a Facebook Product Manager, wrote about these changes in a blog post:
News Feed settings will now show a list of the top people, Pages and Groups that you’ve seen in your News Feed over the past week. You can choose to sort by people, Pages or Groups posts, or see an overall summary. Unfollow any friend, Page or Group if you don’t want to see their stories in your News Feed. You can also see who you’ve unfollowed in the past and can choose to re-follow them at anytime.
Have you noticed a faster experience, iOS users? Facebook’s engineering team explained how switching from HTML5 to native iOS code improved the speed of the News Feed.
Facebook also rewrote the code for timeline, groups, pages, search and more, but noticed that News Feed got slower with each release.
Facebook’s Adam Ernst, in a detailed blog post, explained that the problem was in the data model layer:
First, let’s talk about how News Feed was designed to work on iOS. The Facebook APIs we use serve as a JSON representation of the stories in your News Feed. Because we didn’t want UIViews to consume JSON directly — there are no type safety or hints about what fields you can expect to get from the server — we create intermediate data models from JSON and used those to power the user interface. Like most iOS apps, we chose to use the system default framework for managing data models: Core Data. Already built into iOS and very well documented, it allowed us to get the native rewrite out the door without reinventing the wheel.
Facebook wants you to play more games.
In addition to a module directly in News Feed, Facebook has added recommended games and apps boxes above the right-hand sidebar and above the ticker.
Facebook has added more context to its hover cards. Now, when you mouse over a friend’s name in chat or on News Feed or timeline, you can see more detailed information.
The format for hover cards for pages does not appear to have changed.
Ever wanted to add Pusheen to a comment on Facebook? Now you can.
Facebook is rolling out support to add stickers (a popular messaging feature) to comments on personal posts, as well as posts in groups and events. It does not appear that stickers can be posted on a page’s post. This works on both desktop and mobile.
Many users are accustomed to seeing related posts when they click on a link post within Facebook News Feed.
However, it appears that Facebook is now showing users similar content when they interact with a friend’s post.
Aidas Dalikas, Creative Director of Lithuanian social media firm Socialus Marketingas, noticed on both desktop and mobile that Facebook is showing related stories under posts from friends.
On mobile, Dalikas was able to scroll through photos of people tagged in the post.
On desktop, Facebook prompted Dalikas to see photos of people tagged in the post.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information and will update when we hear back.
Facebook on Thursday announced more changes to its News Feed algorithm, aimed at letting users see posts from the pages and friends they want in a more timely fashion.
The changes revolve around trending topics as well as the time and rate when people like or comment on posts.
Facebook’s Erich Owens, Software Engineer and David Vickrey, Engineering Manager explained the changes in a blog post:
We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show. There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore. Our latest update to News Feed ranking looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.
If you’re tired of headlines emphasizing that your mind will be blown or that you won’t believe what happens next, you’re not alone. Facebook recently targeted clickbait headlines as part of its mission to make the News Feed more relevant, but what does this mean for content publishers on the site?
If you’re producing quality and relevant content, that announcement shouldn’t be a problem for you, according to Adobe Social’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Lawrence Mak. Mak said that the only publishers who should worry about future content plans are those that try to game the algorithm.
Facebook wants you to play within its rules, meaning no deception in links and no links in photo captions, when posting content. Mak told Inside Facebook that quality content publishers shouldn’t see much of a dip because of Facebook’s decision to lighten up on deceptive headlines:
Facebook has always encouraged companies to post focused, engaging content for their audience. That ensures the experience that they have with that brand in News Feed is high value and highly relevant and therefore leads to more engagement and reach over time. I don’t think that this is something that most brands should be worried about. If you are not being shady on Facebook, you shouldn’t be too affected by the change.