The actions Facebook users take on posts—liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post—don’t necessarily tell the whole story of what is most meaningful to them. For example, current serious events or sad news from a friend are instances where a typical engagement action (such as a like or comment) doesn’t feel quite right, but the time spent reading or watching that content does indicate importance.
The new Facebook news feed algorithm update will begin taking into account time spent reading/viewing posts to determine what gets more visibility in the news feed.
Are you thinking – Awesome! Let’s just post longer articles!? Forget it. Facebook already accounted for growth hackers like us, and is including a control for length to keep from accidentally treating longer articles preferentially.
We think it’s great that content consumption is finally getting rewarded in the news feed. It just makes sense that consumption is as strong a KPI as shares, likes or comments, if not more so.
From a marketing perspective, we anticipate this data will eventually show up in our targeting options, further sharpening our ability to put the right content in front of the right audience at the right time.
Bonus tip: Facebook is also rolling out changes to the news feed that keep content from the same publisher stacking up in sequence. Why? Because while users say they love your content, they like to mix it up.
Extra credit: Read the whole engineering update here.