Latest Facebook update prefers links over memes
Facebook is gradually making changes which are moving it towards becoming more of a “news source” than an entertainment platform. Just last week, a Facebook userdiscovered that Facebook was trialling a feature that allowed users on mobile to save links to read later.
On the heels of that discovery, Facebook announced that they had made a change to the Facebook algorithm which favours links to quality articles over the latest meme.
In a press release on December 2nd,, a Facebook representative said, “We’ve noticed that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so we’re now paying closer attention to what makes for high quality content, and how often articles are clicked on from News Feed on mobile. What this means is that you may start to notice links to articles a little more often (particularly on mobile).
“Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme. Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.
“To complement people’s interest in articles, we recently began looking at ways to show people additional articles similar to ones they had just read. Soon, after you click on a link to an article, you may see up to three related articles directly below the News Feed post to help you discover more content you may find interesting.”
The Verge reports, “Though Facebook doesn’t go into detail about what types of articles it’ll be trying to avoid, the announcement comes as short-form content sites like Upworthy and Viral Nova have begun filling users’ feeds with articles defined by their provocative headlines — a feat that’s garnered plenty of attention. Facebook doesn’t say that it’ll be removing any articles from the News Feed entirely, but it does say that lower-quality links will begin showing up less prominently as it places better articles up front. While the changes should make for a pleasant improvement to readers, it’ll also be important as Facebook continues to battle Twitter to become those readers’ go-to source for finding news.”
This comes as fantastic news to marketers focusing on high-quality content. If your business relies heavily on traffic generated by short-form articles and images though, you may need to rethink your strategy.