Facebook Fans: Be Sure Facebook Doesn’t Hide Our Content From You!
January 20, 2014 by Sam Rolley
Personal Liberty Digest™ has built a vast Facebook following in recent years, amassing nearly 900,000 followers who decided at one point or another that they enjoyed the content we share through the social networking site. Unfortunately, a recent rule change made by Facebook restricts the amount of content our fans — and the fans of various other independent publishers — see on their timelines. This means that readers who want to be sure not to miss our Facebook posts must make changes to their profile settings.
Last month, Facebook announced that it would change the algorithms used to determine which posts you are able to see. Company officials said that the change was being made in an effort to ensure that the information coming across your timeline interests you and represents quality content.
Facebook explained: “Why are we doing this? 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.”
While the social networking company left unanswered questions about what sort of content — memes notwithstanding — it would deem too low in quality for you to see, some hints about what sites will not be hurt by the change were provided last year as Facebook made moves to be more of a news mover.
BuzzFeed gleefully reported in November (emphasis added):
Facebook has sent unprecedented levels of traffic to publishers across the internet in recent months, a dramatic and unexpected increase affecting a large range of sites serving a wide variety of content.
According to data from the BuzzFeed Network — a collection of sites including more than 200 publishers such as The Huffington Post, TMZ, The Onion, and Slate, with more than 300 million users each month — traffic from Facebook referrals to partner network sites are up 69% from August to October of this year. The spike began in August, when the network received more than 100 million referrals for the first time. In October, the network received 151 million referrals for the month.
The increase comes as Facebook is competing with Twitter to be seen, and used, as a vital news source, and appears to be the result of changes to how news links perform in the News Feed. In short, Facebook appears to have broadly shifted its algorithms and to create formidable new traffic streams that simply weren’t there just weeks earlier.
Meanwhile, The Libertarian Republic also noted a change in its Facebook activity:
Changes to the algorithm began in December, but it apparently hasn’t affected sites like Buzzfeed. They currently enjoy 1,140,656 likes with 929,002 talking about this. Their engagement has stayed the same. In contrast, The Libertarian Republic in November had a similarly high engagement rate, but in December it went off a cliff.
We have apparently been deemed “low quality.”
We are currently crunching our own numbers at Personal Liberty Digest™ in an effort to better understand how negatively this change will affect our audience. In the meantime, there are a few things that members of our Facebook audience who appreciate our content and would like to continue seeing it in their timelines can do to help.
Like. Comment. Share. If you enjoy our content but are more of a passive reader when it reaches you via your Facebook newsfeed, we encourage you to interact with as many posts as you can in the aforementioned ways.
Finish the article on the site. Sometimes we notice from the arguments breaking out in comments below our posts that some Facebook fans never bother to click through to the site to finish the story. That creates two problems: 1) Forming an opinion based on an excerpt is ill-advised. And 2) Facebook doesn’t think you like us if you don’t click the link and finish the story — even though you “Like” us and enjoy reading our headlines and excerpts.
If you want a fail-safe way to ensure that you’ll continue seeing our content in your newsfeed, you can let Facebook know:
1) Visit the Personal Liberty Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/personalliberty
2) Near the right-hand section of the page banner, locate the button labeled “Liked.”
3) Make sure the option labeled “Get Notifications” is checked.
We hope that you will decide to continue receiving updates from Personal Liberty, even if Facebook would like for it to be more difficult for us to reach our fans. Please pass this information along to friends who you think would like to continue (or start) receiving our daily content. And as always, thank you for your readership and support.