Updated: 24th May 2017

After recent News Feed changes, Facebook offers guidance for publishers

Are you a publisher who’s looking for tips about how to connect and engage your Facebook fans? Facebook has just shared a series of guiding principles to help publishers reach readers while following its Community Standards, which discourage clickbait, misinformation and sensationalism.

Facebook assures publishers that it doesn’t pick out what people should be reading, but rather what they want to read. If publishers know their audience, they should know how best to connect to that audience. However, Facebook encourages publishers to focus on these qualities in what they publish:

  • Informative: This subjective factor considers how users have engaged in the past. People value stories that provide informative context to their lives, which is different for each and every person. Some are interested in sports, others in politics, and yet others in cooking.
  • Meaningful: Facebook’s descriptor takes into account many personal factors, such as how close someone is to a person or page and how they’ve shared and engaged with similar content, as well as the length of time they read a story or watch a video.
  • Accurate: A lot of misinformation spreads on Facebook and can even go viral, and the company says they take that “very seriously” because it erodes trust and is harmful to readers.
  • Authentic: Authentic stories resonate most with the reader, but authenticity also extends to using clear headlines, not sensationalized headlines that create misleading expectations. Facebook advises against spam and attempts to game the news feed for higher distribution.
  • Safety: Content that is distributed should keep readers safe. Facebook often will work with law enforcement to disable accounts while also removing content when threatening messages are sent.
  • Respectful: Facebook understands that followers hold a diverse range of opinions, so it removes certain audiences from sensitive content that includes nudity, hate speech, violence and graphic content.

Facebook has updated the News Feed to take all of the above factors into account, and they suggest that all publishers consider these tenets for the best response from followers and friends.


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