Facebook’s NewsFeed now favors ‘Time Spent Viewing’ and ‘Diversity of Posts’

In April, Facebook announced that it was making changes to its EdgeRank algorithm that would have an effect on how articles would make their way into users’ NewsFeed.

Here’s a rundown of the changes, but read the official post for detail.

Active engagement with a post carries a lot of weight, but Facebook engineers found that people often didn’t actively click, like or comment on content, but still spent significant time with it, signifying interest. Building on that, the social network is applying a time-spent metric to articles viewed in its mobile browser or Instant Article pages. Time spent reading away from the NewsFeed will factor into how that post is distributed to other Facebook users.

People prefer a mix of different sources, so Facebook will suppress back-to-back posts from the same publisher. Details on this are a bit spotty, as in how they’ll handle breaking news updates. My guess is that the cardinal rules of EdgeRank (connectedness to the source, active engagement, and timeliness) will apply, with a sprinkle of weighting to reduce having several unremarkable posts in a row.

What can you do with this information? Create compelling content, and actively check user engagement to continue refining what that means for your audiences. For help in setting benchmarks and watching trends, contact the digital team. (Slack is the fastest way to do that.)