How Facebook’s Story Bumping and Last Actor Feature Changes Impact Marketing

Facebook story bumping

Do you know how to take advantage of the new Story Bump? If not used correctly, Facebook’s Story Bump can result in your content going unnoticed with Facebook fans. Do you know what you need to do to prevent it from happening?

If you are you devising your social media strategy, you must know how to respond to the Facebook news feed changes and how will they impact your marketing. Let’s take a look.

Facebook’s news feed service has been a favourite with social networking addicts, ever since its rollout nearly seven years ago. Now, everyone’s favourite social network has resorted to tweaking the service by introducing a few changes.

Facebook is changing the way it ranks organic posts that are eligible to show up in its users’ News Feeds trying to make it like a “personalized newspaper”. The main idea was to prioritize graphical content over text. News Feeds were revamped and various new options such as All Friends, Photos, Music, and Following were built-in.

Facebook announced the introduction of an entirely new algorithm known as “Story Bump “and has almost done away with the Edge Rank algorithm which was based heavily on the timing of a post – and is now embracing the method of ‘Story Bump’ which is about bumping stories that you don’t see in your newsfeed during a browsing session to the top of your newsfeed so that you can see those first during your next browsing session.

Facebook’s concept of ‘Story Bump‘is very similar to the process of ‘bumping’ a post on a forum or a message board. A post on a message board gets ‘bumped’ each time a person interacts with said post. Each interaction makes the post rise back up to the top of the message board. You can imagine that the most compelling, popular and controversial posts are often commented on the most, therefore they are constantly being ‘bumped’ and remain at the top of the message board.

Facebook’s user base continues to grow, with said users making more connections, and more brands are creating Facebook Pages and pushing content, etc. making the News Feed something of a complicated balancing act. Consider that the average Facebook user has about 1,500 stories on every visit that are eligible to show up in the News Feed and some have many more in the tens of thousands.

After testing this among a small group of users, the result was a 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends and an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from Pages. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the two new factors.

Story Bumping

When deciding what to show in the News Feed, Facebook is now considering not only new stories since the user’s last visit, but may show older stories that are new to that specific user.

With Story Bumping, a post you missed from a friend at is eligible to be bumped back up toward the top of your News Feed when you check again an hour or two later. “Story bumping” is a system that takes the stories that you missed on your News Feed from earlier on in the day and bumps them up closer to the top for you to see.

The change is supposed to make it easier for infrequent users of Facebook (and people who leave some parts of their news feed unread) to keep up with older things that are still relevant to them. This gives a second chance for posts from users and pages who didn’t have their content shown shortly after posting.

In other words, if you miss certain stories on one visit because you ran out of time, or didn’t scroll far down your News Feed, they may be eligible to show on next visit if others are still interacting with the story/content. Story bumping also increased the number of posts Facebook users read: Previously, users read 57% of the posts in their News Feeds but when unread stories were resurfaced, that number increased to 70%. Staggering right?

Last Actor

Facebook is adding more real-time signalling to help decide what should be shown in the News Feed with this change.

Facebook tracks the last 50 interactions you make on Facebook on a rolling basis and uses those as signals to rank your feed. The ranking bump from this factor is temporary because Facebook tracks those last 50 interactions on a rolling basis. It also tracks the last 50 people you have interacted with on Facebook, and taking that into account when figuring out what stories to show you. If you have interacted with a person’s profile recently, their stories are more likely to show up in your feed.

What does it mean For Brands and Marketers?

The changes Facebook announced are user-based, but have obvious impacts on brands and marketers using Facebook.

Firstly, it’s important to know that all of the above applies only to organic Facebook content. The ad system is separate, and Facebook uses different algorithms once content is being promoted via its advertising products.

Secondly, the Story Bumping change could open the door for some Brand/Page content to get extended visibility even in front of the users that may have missed it when the content was first posted. And the Last Actor change could create added visibility over shorter time frames.

Ultimately, this news should lead to any changes in how brands and page owners do business on Facebook. The goal should still be to create interesting, relevant content that produces interaction in the form of shares, comments, like and clicks which has always been the base for increasing engagement.

In terms of Story Bumping, content that appears more relevant due to engagement is going to be pushed up to the top of users’ News Feeds. And in terms of Last Actor, the more people engage with your content, the more they will see that engagement in their News Feeds.