Trends And Making More Effective Facebook Status Updates

A couple recent announcements from Facebook should explain how to improve your viewing and/or posting of content on the site. One change you probably already heard about over the weekend, the other was just announced today.

image: screenshot taken 1/21/14
image: screenshot taken 1/21/14

Facebook has rolled out something mirroring Twitter’s notable feature showing hot topics among users. Unlike Twitter, Facebook will post the topic and a brief explanation as to why it is trending. This is a nice touch since many of us are often confused as to why certain items end up in Twitter’s Trends box. Facebook’s Trending feature appears to the right of the News Feed with 3 topics initially listed. The list can be expanded to see a list of additional trending topics.

As seen below, you can also view posts about trending topics by clicking on them.

Facebook Trending Topic Page
image source: screenshot from 1/21/14

The Most Effective Status Updates
User behavior differs depending on whether one is interacting with an individual Timeline or a company/organization’s Page. Facebook announced today that users are more likely to post an update themselves when they see text updates from Friends in their News Feed.

Different behavior often happens though when content is posted from Pages. Developers have found users are more likely to engage with (like, share, comment) posts containing shared links (more visual), not embedded links (text-based). The graphic below demonstrates the different link approaches.

image created by Shane Goad using 2 stills posted on
image created by Shane Goad using 2 stills posted on

The Takeaway
Whether you use the site for business or pleasure, these two announcements will impact your Facebook experience. As always, Facebook developers say they will monitor the effect these changes have on user activity. Also of note, only desktop users can the Trending topics features while developers continue to work on how to bring “Trending” to mobile users.

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