Facebook Releases Top Stories Feature

Facebook is being a good website and always testing. The question is, are these new features useful for users, and will they provide new opportunities for social media advertising? The most recent feature that has been released is the Facebook top stories feature.

How Does Facebook Top Stories Work

Facebook now places top stories at the beginning of users’ news feeds. Each top story is marked with a blue corner. Recent stories will still be featured below in the order that they were posted. Furthermore, the same top stories listed at the top of the page will also fall below in the typical user’s feed (not sure why they list the stories twice, but I’m sure there were some tremendous internal debates about this at Facebook 🙂

Top stories are stories that are published in between the period of when you last visited Facebook, and when you returned. The top stories will be altered based on the content and the period between Facebook visits.

Facebook Top StoriesFacebook states that top stores are determined based on factors such as your relationship to the person who posted the story, how many comments and likes it got, what type of story it is, etc. This is a significant change to Facebook’s edge rank, which has been the determining factor of the Facebook feed content hierarchy in the past. Here is a quote from Facebook on the ranking system.

“For example, a friend’s status update that might not normally be a top story may become a top story after many other friends comment on it.” – Facebook

Facebook does give you the ability to make it clear that you feel something should not be a top story. If you think one of the Facebook top stories in your news feed is incorrectly listed as a top story, hover over the right side of the update in question and click the arrow to unmark the story as a top story.

What do you think about the Facebook top story feature? Is this going to be a new form of Facebook search engine (news feed) optimization? Will it offer new Facebook advertising opportunities?

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