Facebook Gives Users More From Pages They Haven’t Liked

By: Chris Crum - February 25, 2014

Facebook announced a new News Feed feature on Tuesday, which will show users more updates from Pages they don’t follow. This comes at a time when Facebook is already showing users less from the pages they’ve actually gone out of their way to “like”.

Should Facebook show users more from the pages they actually like as opposed to from the Pages it thinks they’ll like? Share your thoughts.

You’ll see updates from Pages that you haven’t liked when they’re about other Pages that you have liked. For example, if you like Dwight Howard on Facebook, you might see a Bleacher Report update about him if they’ve tagged him in their post.

As Facebook notes, it already does this with updates from friends. The company tested the feature for Pages, and found that people gave this kind of content high scores in surveys.

Not all users agree. One person commented on a CNET article, “Facebook, how about showing me the posts from the pages I indicated I was interested in by ‘liking’ them or posts that I may be interested in that are posted by my ‘friends’ before you spam me with random content.”

That seems like the expected reaction.

“We look at many factors to make sure the most relevant stories appear in News Feed, including which posts are getting the most engagement (such as likes, comments, shares and clicks) across all of Facebook,” says product manager Andrew Song. “We also consider which posts are getting the most engagement from people who like both the Page that posted and the Page that was tagged.”

“For example, if many people who like Dwight Howard also like the Bleacher Report, it suggests that these two Pages are connected,” he adds. “If we see that people who like both the Bleacher Report and Dwight Howard are liking the post above, that’s an indication that it may be relevant for people who only like Dwight Howard. This means some Page posts that tag other Pages may be seen by new people.”

Facebook considers the feature a way for people to discover conversations around topics they’re interested in, not unlike the Trending feature it recently launched. It is quite different, however, as Trending appears off to the side as opposed to in the News Feed itself.

It will be interesting to see how Page owners react to the change. As you may know, Facebook recently made adjustments to its News Feed ranking algorithm that greatly hurt the visibility of many pages’ posts, while rewarding Pages that managed to be white-listed for “quality” by Facebook.

That was a controversial enough move, but adding posts from Pages that people haven’t even liked into their news feed seems like a slap in the face of the Pages that have already suffered this visibility loss.

When people “like” a Page on Facebook, it means they want to keep up to date with whatever person or brand that Page represents. That has historically been how it’s worked. Now, unless you’re on Facebook’s white list, it seems like there’s hardly any point in trying to get people to like your Page.

Luckily, Facebook has said that it will work to take more signals into account in determining “quality” – meaning, eventually, it should be less about being on a white list. That’s just the way it is now because Facebook only looks at source as a quality signal.

It’s interesting that Bleacher Report is the example Facebook chooses to show. This was one of 29 sites it worked with on some other Page testing, which it discussed last fall. Back then, Facebook was encouraging Pages to increase the frequency of their posting, finding that for sites like Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed, Time and the other 26, referral traffic increased significantly. Then came the algorithm update, and BuzzFeed is was one known to have flourished. When asked for the whole list of 29 sites recently, Facebook declined to share it.

Do people really want to see more content from Pages they have not actually liked and less from those that they have? Do you? Let us know in the comments.

Images via Facebook

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • http://www.psychic-witch-myrtlelyn.com/ Myrtlelyn

    Personally, I want to see posts from the pages I have chosen by liking them, also the people on my friends list. I wouldn’t care if they mix it up some, but I want to see the material i choose and all my friends.
    We see little enough from our chosen pages already unless we jump through hoops or go and look them up ourselves.
    Facebook-don’t go the way of Ebay. Don’t become so controlling that people don;t want to be here.

    • vigabo

      I agree. And with all the other stuff out there, when I check news and other sites daily, I read everything else I want to read. Facebook has been losing me steadily over the past few months of changes, especially by minimizing the value of pages I have set up that deal with important subjects like child sexual abuse. They have minimized my pages’ importance by hiding my posts from the many folks who liked it so they could read what I post. I am currently looking for a much better social media site where what I have to say matters and those who want to hear it will receive it.

  • Michael

    To me it seems to advertising driven. Business pages reach less and less of those who originally liked it. The only answer is to spend more with Facebook advertising.

    • JoJo

      Exactly…this is the give Facebook $30 per post algo.

    • vigabo

      yep, or just give up on FB. It’s becoming more and more a waste of my time. Even my family isn’t getting my posts!

  • http://www.redseadiversintl.com/ Red Sea Diversintl

    I already have too much in my news feed and I’m trying to cut it down. I don’t want to see things I didn’t sign up for! It’s a way for the government to control content and what people see, typical after a company goes public they become shareholder driven! We’ll have to see who’s sitting on the board and what kind of lobby groups they have funding them!

  • Roy

    It gets harder every update to actually find content you wanted to see because it’s buried deep behind a wall of facebook push.

    Every business posting on facebook seems to me to be either product advertising or image promotion. To be honest, I don’t want to see what some yank thinks I should see because, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what US companies are doing or selling to US citizens.

    There is an answer, stop using facebook and advise everyone you know to stop using facebook (which will automatically be pushed by facebook to at all my friends and my friends friends and their friends friends).
    In the UK that is a own goal

  • gimpy2585

    Of course it is driven by advertising. This is the best way for them to push more ads in your face v/s showing you the content you want to see. It also makes people liking your own facebook page that much more useless.

  • Richard

    Wow! I think it’s totally awesome that Facebook is still around. I was afraid that it had gone the way of pets.com. I had a Facebook page very shortly after it went live, but I’m afraid that I haven’t checked it in over a year. Alas, Facebook now seems SOOOOOO yesterday.

  • Emil Iliev

    To be honest I never see any updates from the pages I liked and so many ads from other pages… it is so annoying, I started to use more and more Google plus because I really get what I want. Goodbye Facebook and with the number of updates I get from liked pages on Facebook, I would rathe unlike them all

  • chicagonettech

    NO, I keep banning content. If this keeos up, it’s goodbye Facebook.

  • Sweet Pea

    What is the matter with the people at Facebook??? I’ve already seen some pages tell their “likes” that they are moving their pages to Google+, not that that will end up being any better. Bottom line is, the user alone should control what is seen in his/her newsfeed….not Facebook.

  • Christine Ayala

    If Facebook isn’t careful, the newsfeed will just be like spam, and no one will pay attention anymore. I like and follow pages because I WANT to know what is going on with them. I don’t like and follow pages because I DON’T want to know. Does FB think we are stupid??? The algorithm change has been terrible and I hope they fix it…soon.

  • Shelly Goodwyn

    I want to make choices for what I see. My husband mentioned some of the pages are pornographic in nature and very offensive.

  • Christine

    Yes, they should be showing me the posts from the pages I have chosen! I rarely see posts that really interest me anymore, because if they do post it may be at a time I am not on Facebook so I miss it! I don’t see friend posts because my page is over run with ADS! Let us have our pages BACK!

  • ValH

    I want to see MORE of the pages I “LIKE” and LESS of everything else. I thought the whole point of liking a page in the first place was to get their updates, not a bunch of crap I’m not interested in. There’s an easy fix though….

    http://www.teapartycommunity.com or I can simply stop dealing with Facebook since they seem to be nothing if not dishonest.

  • Jerry Meyers

    I want to be shown things I like.

  • Sue

    No- I don’t like the “new” Facebook either. My pages and my husbands pages don’t look or respond the same. If I wanted ad’s I’d buy magazines and watch network programs. It’s so easy to sign off and never log in again. It’s the same as I hate traffic lights.Too much traffic getting in my way- try another route.

  • Samuil Dichev

    My news feed is being spammed with shit I haven’t liked. When people said facebook would die out I laughed, because if you think about it pretty much everyone has a facebook. You can also use it to log in to many websites. It’s already integrated in everything we do.
    But shit like this makes me reconsider… it might actually die out. I’ve already seen many of my friends deactivate their accounts.