What Are Facebook Storybump and Last Actor?

New Facebook News Feed Algorithm and  What it Means for Your Social Media Strategy

If you manage Facebook Pages then you’re affected by Facebook’s new announcement on Tuesday where they announced the retirement of EdgeRank (the term, not the concept, keep reading) and introduced two new items for how brands get content into their customer’s news feeds. The two new features are Storybump and Last Actor.

Now, according to Facebook, a person has the potential to see on average 1,500 updates from their friends, people or Pages they follow each day. Facebook claims that if they pushed all of their content to you in the order in which it was received, the average person would miss the bulk of what’s actually important to them. So in an effort to give consumers what they want, Facebook revised their news feed algorithm which will listen to the user’s actions and allow Facebook to surface the top 20% of those potential 1,500 updates to the end user using new signals called Storybump and Last Actor.

Facebook still claims that the news feed still includes factors such as:

  • How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted (frequency of engagement)
  • The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular (affinity)
  • How much you have interacted with this type of post (image, video, text, link) in the past (weight)
  • Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post (negative feedback)

In the past, EdgeRank was Affinity, Weight (type of post), and Time Decay. But now it seems that Time Decay is less important, however, affinity, frequency and weight, still matter, along with negative feedback.  See graphic below.

Facebook EdgeRank 2013


What is Storybump?

Storybump is where Facebook will bump stories in your customer’s news feed down so they can see stories they haven’t seen yet.  From a brand perspective, this means that the timing of your post is less important than it used to be.  TechCrunch reported an “8% boost in interactions for stories from Pages and public figures.’

From a personal perspective, you might be glad that you’ll see more things now than before. Facebook also said that people are seeing about 70% of all possible updates in their stream, as compared to just 57% in the past prior to Storybump. So you’re looking at a 13% increase overall.

What is Last Actor?

Facebook will track the last 50 interactions one does on Facebook on a rolling basis and use those as signals to determine what gets presented to a person in their news feed. So essentially, the past 50 interactions can include:

  • Like, comment or share within Facebook**It’s not clear if clicking the “like” button  from outside of Facebook or any other Facebook plugin attributes to this, but you can test it out and see. Just start liking content on a news source like the Huffington Post or the New York Times and then see if that content starts appearing in your news feed after a few days.

What does this means for marketers and brands?

It means that creating relevant and engaging content is more important now than ever because engagement and affinity are being looked at and weighted more carefully.
What are your thoughts? 


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


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