When Facebook launched its newest redesign two weeks ago, it collapsed the news feed, formerly divided into "top news" and "recent news," into a single hybrid news feed. According to Edgerank, that change has resulted in a 33% drop in impressions per post, but an increase in engagement for pages. Likes and comments have gone up 18% and 17%, respectively.

With the release of the forthcoming Timeline feature, Facebook will change even further from a newspaper-like feed to a visual slideshow of your life. But in the meantime, why are people commenting and liking more than clicking?

One possible reason is what is showing up in the news feed. The news feed is currently made up of "top stories," or posts that each user is more likely to engage with. For example, on my news feed, a post about a local Chicago event from a profile that I tend to click on often comes up as a "top story" rather than just recent news - even though it is, in fact, recent news as the time stamp clearly shows.

If there's no "top story" available, the hybrid news feed will just post regular recent news at the top of the news feed. Try hitting the refresh button repeatedly - there aren't as many "top stories" as it seems there should be. [edit: The news feed algorithm discovers "top news" based on one's relationship to the person, type of story, and number of comments and likes a story receives, not on clicks.]

It could be that when a new "top story" does show up - a type of story we're used to engaging with anyway - we're more likely to interact with it, rather than just click and move on.

What do you think? Will this trend continue? Or is this just a temporary data shift, as the Edgerank blog post suggests?

Image via Edgerank