Yes! Thank you Facebook!
If you have been following me over the years, you will know that I have been advocating brands to pay much more attention to the group that I call ‘the listeners’. It’s the people who don’t like, don’t comment and don’t share your content, but are otherwise illustrating all the behaviors of a truly loyal customer
In 2012, for instance, I wrote a whole plus article about this. Here is a free link. https://www.baekdal.com/insights/social-conversion-rates-where-the-real-value-comes-from/0B88BFD567874A8A8CA71302158D8D2057C8A36CD054655EC44AED9557BEE5ED
And, up until now, Facebook has stubbornly refused to account for this in their News Feed, instead focusing on ‘active engagement’ as the only measure of value. And it’s partly because of this that our News Feed is so crappy. If you want to measure true value of social, the listeners are far more important than the active engagers.
But in a press release out today, Facebook is announcing that they have finally started to measure the impact of the listerners. As they write:"We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.""For example, you may scroll quickly through your News Feed and like a photo of your friend’s graduation, followed by sharing a funny post from your sister. You keep scrolling and happen upon a post your cousin shared detailing everything she did and saw on her recent trip. Her post even includes a photo. You spend time reading her post and the interesting discussion about the best places to eat that had broken out in the comments on this post, but you don’t feel inclined to like or comment on it yourself. Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future."
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You might also have noticed that the whole scroll-like measuring, is exactly what I and others have been talking about since 2011 when we measure read-rates for articles. You can read more about that here: https://www.baekdal.com/insights/revisiting-readrates-and-other-content-focused-analytics/
It took Facebook a long time to get here, but we finally got it.
In the future, Facebook will be ranked not just by what you act on, but also on what you enjoy reading. It’s a small thing, but it makes such a big difference in the long run.http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/06/news-feed-fyi-taking-into-account-time-spent-on-stories/