Facebook pushes recommended games, apps in top right corner of News Feed

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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.

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Facebook rolls out more descriptive hover cards

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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.

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Facebook comments: now with stickers

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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.

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Facebook now placing related stories under personal posts

unnamedMany 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.

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News Feed algorithm change: improving timeliness of posts

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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.

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What should you learn from Facebook’s clickbait-free News Feed?

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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.

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Facebook wants to know why you hide ads

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Facebook users hide ads for several reasons, but now the site is making a greater effort to understand why.

Facebook announced today a few changes in the ad feedback process. When someone clicks to hide an ad, Facebook is making it easier for the user to explain why, such as the ad was irrelevant or repetitive. Facebook had been testing this process for quite some time, but now it’s fully rolling it out.

Product Manager Max Eulenstein explained the process in a blog post:

We’ve learned that the reason why someone hides an ad can be just as important as the hide itself. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s not relevant to them, we know we didn’t do a great job choosing that ad and we need to improve. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s offensive, it probably isn’t a good ad for other people on Facebook, either.

With this update, News Feed is going to take into account the reasons why people give us for hiding an ad. When we identify an ad like this, we’ll show it to fewer people on Facebook.

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Facebook and death: Using social media to grieve and memorialize

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For many of Facebook’s estimated 1.3 billion active users, the social media platform has become an extension of their lives. Nearly every event is shared out with friends near and far. But what happens after that life has come to an end? Facebook has cornered the market on death too.

In yet another indication of how social media continues to take over our lives, over the last few years Facebook has become a place where users can process death. We come here to grieve for those we’ve lost, connect with family to celebrate and toast the lives of loved ones and even join the larger online community in remembering those who have passed on.

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Facebook is sucking out our brains one satire tag at a time

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In the latest sign that the movie “Idiocracy” was a work of prophetic genius, the big-brains behind Facebook are testing out new [Satire] tags, so that unsuspecting ideologues the world over will stop sharing fake news articles as the real thing. Because we’re all too stupid to know the difference and because we obviously care less that Facebook is sucking out our brains.

Currently in a very limited testing stage, the tags appear only in the “Related Articles” section and only after a user has clicked on a satire article. When the user comes back to the page, the tag prefaces the titles of a similar nature. So it’s subtle in a “here’s some hindsight for you, dummy” kind of way.

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Facebook cracks down on click-baiting, promotes native link format

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Tired of shady techniques used by publishers to get you to click? So is Facebook. The company announced Monday that it is battling this tactic (click-baiting) by punishing pages who use this technique to get traffic to the website.

In a Newsroom blog post, Facebook explained how the site will determine a click-bait headline:

One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.

Facebook cited a survey where 80 percent of participants preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before clicking through.

The site also made another change for publishers who rely on links.

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