Saturday, February 26, 2011

New System For Facebook Wall Posts – How It Works

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Among the many changes to Facebook Fan Pages is the removal of chronological order as the default setting for Wall posts. What does it mean? Is there any wisdom to it? Are there advantages?

As with many Facebook changes, people are still catching up, and many who were satisfied with things as they were are upset with the removal of a system that seemed to make intuitive sense. Obviously, not every change Facebook makes is right. And if this one proves unfeasible it won’t be the first time Facebook has tried something then made adjustments to accommodate users. However, as most recent Facebook changes have been successful and clearly their intentions with this change were to improve the experience for users, it’s important to understand how it works first and explore the ways that it could actually be an improvement.

In a recent response to questions about the removal of chronological order on their developer forum, Facebook described the new system as “an algorithm determining popular and interesting content. Factors include how many friends are commenting on a certain piece of content, who posted the content, and what type of content it is (e.g., photo, video, or status update).”

Their use of the term algorithm brings to mind Google’s system for aggregating search content, and is perhaps an indication of where Facebook wants to go with this. Chronology clearly still plays a role, particularly for users visiting other Fan Page walls, where posts often still appear in a form very close to reverse chronology, with the occasional exception.

Options For Visitors & Page Admins

With so many different variables, it can be hard for users to understand how the logic works. This can be especially difficult for brands. Without accurate and timely notifications on posts, page moderation is INCREDIBLY difficult and cumbersome. While Facebook does provide email notifications to page admins when users post or comment, a more sophisticated way to manage a high volume of posts across multiple Fan Pages is to employ a tool such as Involver’s Audience Management Platform, which allows you to respond chronologically to comments/posts regardless their position on the Wall.

When using Facebook as your Page, there is still a way to toggle back to reverse chronological order. From your Home page, choose between Top News and Most Recent (see below).

The other new feature to Facebook Wall posts is the ability to choose between Everyone and Posts by Page, which means that as a visitor you can view only posts made by the Page admins, or from Everyone posting to this Wall (see below).

Admins can limit the ability of visitors to see other postings by choosing Only Posts By Page in their Wall Tab Shows under Manage Permissions, where they can also set filters for comments, media, age and profanity.

To change the settings for your Facebook Fan Page Wall, go to Manage Permissions:

  • For admins using Facebook as individuals, find this by clicking the Edit Page box that appears on the top right of your Fan Page
For admins using Facebook as their Page, find this by clicking on the top right of your Profile (not home) Page
  • Click the Edit Page box at the top right
Make sure you’re on the Manage Permissions page (highlighted in gray)
  • Here you’ll find a range of filtering capabilities
Next to Wall Tab Shows, choose between Everyone, and Only Posts By Page

Hopefully soon, Facebook will make it simple to access a complete range of view-by options as easily as we do on our desktops, windows or email programs. And while it’s difficult to understand and even more complicated to navigate this new system, think of this as a step in the right direction.

Using involver apps on your Facebook Page is easy, click here to install a free application in less than 60 seconds.


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