Unless you enjoy tracking changes in service agreements and privacy policies, chances are you aren’t always up to date on all the latest news at Facebook headquarters.
So that’s why I’ve put together this list of the latest Facebook changes you need to know about from both a business and personal perspective.
As always, if you have any questions about these changes, please leave a comment at the end of this post!
7 Recent Facebook Changes You Need to Know About
1. Facebook makes all users searchable.
Remember how you used to have the option of hiding your name from Facebook search? Well, over the next few weeks, those who have opted to hide their name from search will become ‘searchable’.
While Facebook announced last year that it would slowly be removing the ‘Who can look up your timeline by name’ feature, the change won’t be completed across the board until late October or early November 2013.
In fact, Facebook removed the option last year for those who weren’t using the feature, so if you haven’t ever opted out of search, you likely won’t even notice the change.
2. Facebook is displaying bigger thumbnail images.
Thumbnail image sizes have recently increased, which means more newsfeed real estate for your pictures. Facebook has stated that the reason for this change is “to increase click-through rates on links as larger images are more engaging”.
The new sizes at which thumbnails will be displayed are:
Desktop: 400 x 209
Mobile: 560 x 292
Facebook recommends that images on your blog or website are 1200 x 627px (which is in many cases, simply undoable), and a minimum of 560 x 292. Whatever size your images are, it’s important that the width is 1.91 times the height.
Images that don’t match the recommended ratios and dimensions will automatically be resized to much smaller dimensions, so it’s important that you get into the habit of using these new sizes immediately when posting images to your website.
3. Graph Search now includes post and status updates.
Graph Search nows allows you to search not just photos, people, places and interests, but by comments, status updates, photo captions and check-ins. While this feature is currently only available to a small number of users, it will be rolled out to all users over the coming months.
This will allow users to perform more timely, intuitive, natural-language searches such as “my posts from October 2012” or “posts about Breaking Bad by my friends”.
You will only be able to search content that has been shared by friends or publicly, so there’s no need to panic about private posts being made public. If you have concerns about whether you may have inadvertently shared a past post publicly, it’s easy to make all your previous updates private.
Simply go to your privacy settings (not the privacy shortcut drop down), and click ‘Limit Past Posts’. You will then have the option to change the audience for all of your past updates to friends. You may also choose to scroll through all your old posts and change them on a case-by-case basis.
4. Edgerank is dead (or at the very least, has changed dramatically).
And just when you got used to the whole ‘affinity, weight, time decay’ factors!
While Facebook acknowledges that these three factors are important when it comes to news feed ranking, they have stated that there are over 100,000 individual rankings that come into play, and that some of these are just as important as the original three.
Two of the factors that Facebook has stated are particularly important are:
Story Bumping: Posts being bumped because of lots of likes, comments or shares. This means that even if you haven’t been on Facebook for a few days, you may still see older, popular posts in your newsfeed.
Last Actor: The last 50 interactions someone has are taken into account as far as what’s shown in their newsfeed. This means that if, for example, you’ve ‘liked’ a certain page’s post early in the day, you may receive more of their posts in your newsfeed later in the day.
5. You can now edit published posts.
Ever published a post, received lots of comments and shares, and then realized you wanted to make a change to the update? Well now you can edit your posts instead of having to delete and repost them.
Simply click in the top right hand corner of any published update, select ‘edit’, and go to town. You can also view your change history by clicking on the ‘Edited’ link of any post you’ve changed.
6. Users can embed posts on their website.
Embedded posts allow users to put public posts from Facebook onto their website. Rather than just
simply mentioning something they saw on a Facebook page, they can actually post and share it directly.
So, if someone particularly appreciates an update you’ve made on your page, they can embed it directly onto their site. Now their readers can click ‘Like Page’ directly from the embedded post.
More fans with no extra effort on your part!
7. More relevant ads
This is great for Facebook advertisers and users alike.
While advertisers have many targeting options when it comes to Facebook ads, up until now, Facebook users haven’t had much say in terms of which ads they want to see.
But recently Facebook began incorporating feedback they receive from users about ads, like hiding or reporting ads. For instance, if a user consistently hides ads about electronics, Facebook will take this into account and stop showing these types of ads to that user.
This change to Facebook’s algorithms may make marketers a little uncomfortable at first, however in the long run, it’s going to mean your ads are shown to exactly the people who care most about your product or service.
And there you have it: 7 recent Facebook changes you need to know about.
Were any of these a surprise to you? Do you have questions about incorporating any of these into your Facebook strategy? Let me know in the comments below!