Just because Twitter wants to be more like Facebook doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t want to be more like Twitter.
About a month after Twitter started aping Facebook, shoving “curated” tweets in your timeline and suggesting strangers you should follow, Facebook is now getting into the “trending topics” game we know from that other social network.
Posts on trending topics (and weighed for timeliness) will now appear higher in your news feed, Facebook announced on Thursday.
If a post from a friend or Page you follow is about something lots of people are talking about, Facebook will put that post right up top where you can’t miss it. That way, you can engage while the topic is still relevant.
This is no willy-nilly change, either. Early testing shows this leads to six percent more engagement, the company said in a blog post.
What’s more, Facebook will now not only look at the number of “Likes” or comments a certain post receives, but also when most of the activity occurred. If a lot of people comment right after the post appeared, and then those comments or “likes” grind to a halt, Facebook’s updated algorithm will take that as a sign that the post was timely, but isn’t any more. That means the post will appear high in your news feed while the traffic is happening, and sink once the traffic slows down or grinds to a halt.
Likely, this change isn’t meant so much to benefit you, but Pages in particular. Pages, which often represent brands, are having a hard time getting much attention without paying for it. Facebook’s latest algorithm update help Pages reach a broader audience. That is, if those pages are posting about breaking news and events.
You’ll also likely start seeing more posts from your friends that may coincide with real-time events, like football games, television shows, or breaking news—just like the posts you might find on Twitter.
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