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How to Make Facebook’s Recent News Feed Update Work to Your Advantage

On Tuesday, Facebook announced an update to its news feed algorithm and finally answered the mysterious question of “how the news feed actually works.” The concept behind Facebook’s news feed update is simple – the posts with the most likes, comments, & shares will be displayed more frequently in the news feed .

Lars Backstrom, the engineering manager for Facebook’s News Feed ranking, said “The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.” Facebook performed a recent study that found that this new ranking system led to a 13% increase in stories read, and a 5% increase in interactions (Likes, shares, comments).

What is Story Bumping?

The purpose of the updates to Facebook’s news feed is to highlight stories users find most interesting. Story Bumping allows for the stories you may have missed in your news feed earlier in the day, a chance to be displayed to you later on, if that story is “popular.” Before the update, every time a user refreshed their feed, all the newly created posts were automatically moved to the top. The Story Bump process now enables the older posts (stories that may have been posted earlier but never actually scrolled through) to join the new stories at the top of your feed.

What is Facebook story bumping

Another change to the algorithm, Last Actor, looks at the 50 people you most recently interacted with on Facebook – such as viewing someone’s profile or photos, and liking their stories. If you spend the morning looking through all of your best friend’s recent camping trip photos, you’ll see more of his or her posts in your feed later in the day.

How Do the Facebook News Feed Updates Affect My Page?

Facebook’s updates will effectively eliminate boring, non-engaging stories from the news feed. As a personal user, this is an awesome update. Show me the stuff I actually want to see, right? However, as a marketer managing a fan page, this update is a little worrisome.

For A LOT of brands with Facebook fan pages, the barrier to reach their audience just became way more extreme – because their pages are, well, boring. For the brands with thousands to millions of followers, even the slightest decrease in “reach” can have a huge impact on their exposure over the social network and in many cases, even affect revenue. The average Facebook user only sees 20% (or less) of the 1500 potential stories filtered through their news feed every day. To stay in that 20% of what the users actually see, brands are either going to have to create much more engaging content or pay up to promote their posts. If someone engages frequently with your page, that person will see a lot more of your content so one-off engagement is not going to cut it anymore. Brands need to interact with their users on a regular basis to stay relevant.

How to Make Facebook’s News Feed Update Work to Your Advantage

Don’t let the update to the Facebook news feed have a negative effect on your brand. In fact, it should inspire you! Now, more than ever, you need to ask yourself, “how can I make my posts more engaging?” The short answer is – use visual content.

Visual content is exploding on social media. Posts with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs. Social media data expert Dan Zarrella tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages and found that photos drives the most engagement, followed by text and video. Below is a snippet from Dan’s infographic.

Using photos will increase fan engagement and, in-turn, help make your posts more popular on Facebook. Read 7 more reason marketers should use images.

Photos get more engagement

Facebook is giving stories that may not have been seen during a user’s first scan of their news feed, a second chance to resurface – make sure your story is one of them!

It’s come down to A) Be more engaging or B) Dish out the $$$ to be seen.

How do you plan on making your posts more engaging?


  1. Very good and very important for me to manage my work ….very very nice

  2. Thank you for all of the great posts!!

  3. Excellent post. I am doing all that I can to inspire engagement and virtually all my posts have photos. I have just under 4000 followers now and posts with the heaviest engagement can go over 10%. For the most part, though, only 10% (and often less) are seeing my posts. Facebook is really forcing you to pay to reach your audience. I wish they had an option for fans only, and not fans and friends, so I could just pay to get my content out to all of my fans on important posts. Still, I want to reach as many people as I can with every post, so this is right on!

    • You can promote your posts to fans only if you want. But you have to use Facebook’s ads manager to do it. A bit more work, but usually worth it.

    • Matt Thompson says:

      Thanks Jacqueline! It does seem like Facebook is making it harder and harder to reach your audience without spending money to promote your posts. It’s important to stay active and engage regularly, so you’re doing a great job in that department! Have you tried asking your fans to “please RT (retweet)” or “please share?”

  4. Thank you very much my friend.

  5. Thank you for the great post. I had learned many years ago that when I was posting to my blogs I had a better visitor rate than my post that didn’t have pictures or an image with them. Thanks Jacqueline, this is a very true statement on visual content.