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Facebook Publisher News: Doomsday Algorithm Not So Damaging After All?

Parse.ly releases report on friends and family algorithm that’s worth sharing to your favorite Facebook publisher; plus, metrics and Messenger

If you’re a Facebook publisher, you know as well as anyone what havoc the whims of Zuckerberg can wreak on your social media strategy.

That’s why some digital publishers – particularly those who had invested the most time and energy into Facebook Instant Articles – freaked a little bit when it was announced that the mega-media company would be pulling the ol’ switcheroo and focusing more eyes of everyday users on the content shared by friends and family rather than continuing to prize quality Facebook publisher content.

The fear was that publishers were caught between a rock and a hard place. But is that really the way thing have played out? Nieman Lab has an update, along with a couple of other articles on Facebook-related publishing news. Let’s start the week with them!

If You’re a Facebook Publisher, You’ll “Like” This Study

Earlier this summer, digital magazines got some (more?) bad news from Facebook. The NewsFeed algorithm would be tweaked to put more emphasis on posts from personal connections, rather than from publishers. How has it impacted Facebook-reliant publishers so far?

Well, according to Nieman Lab, not as poorly as anticipated.

“[M]ore than a month in, the Facebookpocalpyse seems to have been averted. New data from analytics firm Parse.ly finds that Facebook traffic to its network of publishers has been flat or even slightly up since the June 29 announcement. There hasn’t been any noticable change afterFacebook’s August 4 announcement it was clamping down on clickbait either, although it may be a little early to know the full impact of that change,” Taylyn Washington-Harmon writes.

“Parse.ly’s network of sites includes more than 600 digital publishers, including many big names (Upworthy, Slate, The Daily Beast, Business Insider), so its experience is likely to be representative of news media more broadly. In its network, Facebook passed Google as the top source of traffic last summer; as of earlier this year, Facebook was generating more than 40 percent of referrers to network sites.”

New Facebook Video Metrics Established for Media Companies

Facebook is loading up its video arsenal for digital publishers, with its latest offering a new suite of measurement goodies, Nieman Lab reports.

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“Its stable of video metrics now includes viewer demographics, which will let creators get a better idea of the kinds of people watching their videos (broken out by age and gender) as well as where, generally, those viewers live. That’s a big deal for a site such as BuzzFeed, which has already used similar kinds of demographic data to drive its video strategy. Other publishers will now be able to put it to good use as well,” Ricardo Bilton writes.

“Facebook is also offering more insight into how interested people are while watching live video. Publishers will now be able to see at which points viewers are most engaged, and which moments were compelling enough to encourage people to share, like, and comment. Another noteworthy addition: a new heatmap feature that will let publishers of 360º videos see where viewers spend the most of their time watching: The most-viewed parts of the video will appear hotter, while the less interesting bits will be colder. Facebook is opening that feature up to any video posted since April that has at least 50,000 views.”

News Service Purple Phases From SMS to Facebook Messenger

Purple, a digital publisher that started as an SMS news provider, is moving over to Facebook Messenger, Nieman Lab reports.

“The benefit that we get from [Facebook] Messenger is the fact that it’s already in most people’s phones. Additionally, the Messenger interface provides a lot of little things that makes the experience a lot better to use Purple on Messenger,” Purple Co-Founder David Heimann told Washington-Harmon.

“[With users] we’re in the thousands, but we’re not all that interested in the raw number of users. We’re more interested in growing the high caliber part of the community, which is the reason why we’re moving to Messenger. We’ve gone from, in our early days, of having 10 to 20 percent contributing to some days where 60 percent of our user base will be engaging.”

Are you a Facebook publisher? What do you think of this latest round of news? Let us know in the comments!

To read about more Facebook publisher news and other industry trends, visit the Nieman Lab.

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