Facebook's News Feed algorithm update cuts traffic to major viral sites down significantly

By on February 11, 2014, 5:45 PM
facebook, algorithm, buzzfeed, upworthy, peter koechley, viralnova, distractify

In December Facebook introduced changes to the algorithm that curates which content appears in its News Feeds. The company said that the alterations would favor content it determines as "high quality," including fewer "meme photos."

Over the course of December 2013, Upworthy's traffic reduced by 25% to 67 million people and then to 48 million the following month. While a 46% drop in traffic may seem like a steep drop in two months, Upworthy cofounder Peter Koechley doesn't think so, nor does he feel that Facebook is out to get them. He likens the numbers to a "huge crazy spike" in November driven by really popular posts and that the company expected to see the decline.

Other sites, like Viralnova and Distractify, that could be categorized as posting content like Upworthy also experienced similar negative trends in traffic during December and January. However, Buzzfeed for example, a site that at least to some degree offers viral content like Upworthy, did not.

Some have suggested that this could be because Buzzfeed invests heavily in Facebook's advertising platform to drive traffic to its content. While this may be true to some extent, it's more likely because Buzzfeed, unlike the other sites mentioned, also employees respected journalists that produce engaging news content.

User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

They just don't get leave things alone and people will come, Now they changed things and people won't come back.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Here's some more info:

- The default News Feed option is 'most popular', which is full curation from FB.

- Even changing it to 'most recent' allows FB to curate the feed.

- The only way to get close to all status updates from people/pages is to go to each individual page, open their 'friendship', and 'show all'.

- Even when all the above is done, FB still curates your news feed.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is there an algorithm that cuts off Facebook articles significantly? :P

Facebook Blocker - lol

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Just change things back and leave it alone. You are hurting not helping.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Two words, one link: Social Fixer, http://socialfixer.com/

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