Facebook is all about making algorithm changes these days, cracking down on click-bait headlines and changing things up in such a way that the News Feed displays important updates from your friends and actual news.
Another thing that Facebook has decided to do is tweak the algorithm to prioritize showing links in the link-format rather than posts with links attached as an afterthought or as an addition to a photograph.
As you may know by now, when you share a link to Facebook, it will appear in the News Feed with a large picture, a headline and some text that gives users context regarding what the link is about. This also gives the poster enough room to make their very own comments, which appear on top of the link area.
There are publishers, however, who often share links in status updates or in text caption above photos, without giving their followers a chance to figure out where the URL leads and whether it’s worth the “trip” or not.
“We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen,” reads a blog post signed by Facebook’s Khalid El-Arini, research scientist, and Joyce Tang, product specialist within the company.
Page owners out there will have to adapt to the new changes if they want their posts to appear in people’s News Feeds, as Facebook is forcing their hand by promising to stop showing such articles.
The company states that the best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. According to Facebook’s studies, such posts actually receive twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions.
This new measure, paired with the campaign against click-bait content, should help weed out the useless content that clutters the News Feed, stopping us from seeing other, actual important, updates.
The changes should come to all users in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll also see chronological updates when choosing “most recent” from the view options since many people have been complaining about getting irrelevant updates from many days before mixed in with the other posts.
Here are Facebook examples for good and bad ways to share links.