Facebook News Feed Change Leads To Increased Sharing?

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Breaking news: Facebook is the most dominant social network for people sharing content.

Seriously though, the social beast only manages to keep growing and extending its lead. ShareThis has a new report looking at Q1 consumer sharing trends, finding that Facebook strengthened its leadership position, and giving some credit to a January update Facebook made to its News Feed algorithm.

In November, Facebook announced that it was making a change starting in January, which would reduce overly promotional page posts in the News Feed. These are the examples Facebook gave:

"It’s likely that Facebook’s News Feed adjustment increased engagement with the social network and, as a result, sharing activity increased," says ShareThis' Michalene Becker. "This quarter, Facebook represented 84% of sharing volume, up 12% from Q1 2014. Blogger, which makes up 5% of sharing volume, also saw a slight uptick in activity compared to last year (+2%). Meanwhile, Pinterest and Twitter saw slight declines in sharing (-5% and -3%, respectively)."

The report found that smartphone and tablet sharing now account for 20% and 13% of device activity respectively. 77% are using desktop devices for browsing, but they're less likely to convert to a social action. Only about 7% of sharing is generated by desktop devices.

"The leading social channel, Facebook, maintains a strong desktop presence with 87% of desktop shares this quarter coming from the social network," says Becker. "However, its mobile user base has grown in size and engagement; '66% of U.S. users 18 and older accessed the social network from a smartphone in January and February of this year' (up from 63% in Q4 2014) and 'total smartphone time grew to 24%' (up from 22% in December ’14) (Facebook’s Big Blue App Is Stronger Than Ever on Mobile). Given this, it is no surprise that Facebook makes up the majority (87%) of mobile shares."

Facebook announced more News Feed tweaks last week, which include one that will show some users more content from their friends and less from Pages.

"Our goal is to just constantly refine this and make it better and we’re going to keep on doing that because we think there’s a lot of upside and there’s a lot more that we can do," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company's earnings call last week, discussing News Feed changes.

Facebook is currently testing a way to give users more control over what they see in the News Feed, which could potentially be good for Pages that users select.

In terms of the content that people are sharing, it comes as no shock that Arts & Entertainment stuff is the most social category, largely driven by TV and video content, according to the ShareThis report. Sharing about politics did influence 14% growth in news-related content sharing.

Pinterest dominates for food and drink content as well as home and garden, beauty and fitness, and shopping. Twitter is on top for sports-related content.

Image via Facebook

Chris Crum
Chris 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.

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