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Facebook announced today that it is changing its News Feed algorithm to benefit Pages that post links using the company’s sharing technology over pages that post text-only status updates.

Facebook says it found that text-based status updates from individual users increase engagement from other users, but its research shows that text-based status updates from corporate or organizational Facebook pages don’t have the same effect. Now, companies that post status updates with links in them will get preferential treatment from the News Feed algorithm if they use Facebook’s “link-share” system.

For the most part, this happens automatically. When Page owners or other users add a link to a status update, Facebook usually automatically kicks in and embeds a preview into the update. But users who delete the preview, or update their page using a third-party tool that doesn’t automatically include a link-share preview will now see their posts get less penetration.

It’s unclear just how much of a bump Page owners can expect to get, but Facebook says that those updates are now the “preferred” way for Pages to post.

One of the common frustrations for Page owners is just how opaque Facebook is when it comes to users’ interactions with page content. Owners have to throw out communications, and don’t get any feedback about how that is shown to people who like the page.

It’s another move by the social networking titan to try and ingratiate itself with media companies which have traditionally been more sought-after by Twitter. Last month, the company announced that it was making changes to the news feed to try and surface higher quality content shared by friends.

The change isn’t all good news for everyone, though. Businesses like restaurants and food trucks, which rely on status updates to post changes to their menu or daily specials, could see a decrease in Facebook traffic.

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  • Kevin Lisota

    Hmm.. I’ll believe this when I see it. We saw a decline of ~90% in Facebook news feed traffic when they changed their algorithm in December, and all of our posts are “links” as described here. My guess is that they still won’t show your links unless you pay them.

    • Matt

      The one thing I noticed with the December algo change is page post visibility is VERY dependent on engagement levels. If a high percentage of the post viewers (5% or more) are liking or commenting on the post it still will organically reach most of the page audience. If it’s not engaging them, it may only reach 10% or less of the audience.

  • Matt

    Definitely a major difference today in the impressions I’m seeing in rich content image links. Nearly all the links I post of the company page are rich content links but today they are racking up impressions more than twice as fast a previously.

  • Gina

    Funny. All of my rich media links are tanking the last several weeks. I have good page engagement otherwise. Highly irritating.

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