Facebook Test Lets Users Pick Which Pages’ & Friends’ Posts Appear At Top Of News Feed
Test for some mobile users gives them the option to override the algorithm to make sure they see posts from their favorite people and Facebook Pages.
Facebook is experimenting with a News Feed algorithm override, testing a feature that allows people to select friends and pages whose posts they don’t want to miss. Posts from friends and pages given priority will appear on top of a person’s News Feed.
The test, reported first by Social Times, is showing up for some mobile users who are served a box with an animated puppy and a “See more of what you love” prompt (screen grabs used with permission from Social Times).
Tapping through leads to a screen displaying friends and pages with whom that person has connected. Posts from selected pages and people will be prioritized in the News Feed, as the dialog box states: “Their posts will appear at the top of your News Feed so you’ll never miss them.”
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed in an email to Marketing Land that the company is running a small test.
If fully rolled out, this would be a significant departure for Facebook, which typically serves News Feed content based on behavioral signals rather than expressed preferences. In other words, Facebook usually puts more stock in what people actually interact with rather than what they say they want.
It could also potentially give marketers another crack at pushing more messages into consumer News Feeds. As organic reach of posts from Pages has dropped, many businesses have been frustrated that it has become harder to reach people who have liked their Pages. People do currently have the option to opt in for notifications from Pages — some overtly ask fans to select that option — but News Feed real estate is more coveted.
Of course to take advantage of the opening, brands and businesses would need persuade fans to give their Page priority. Media publishers might have an edge to do that, said Ulrik Bo Larsen, CEO and founder of social media management platform Falcon Social, but any business can score by concentrating on engaging content and nurturing its loyal fans.
“The brands that stand to gain the most here are the ones that both have a truly loyal fan base and that produce outstanding social content (often related),” Larsen said in an email to Marketing Land. “Publishers may have an advantage, as it’s their job to create great stories. But any brand that manages to make really great content will have a shot at getting all their stories seen by some of their most loyal fans, which is a great thing for them.”