This was… surprising,
Right now, Meta has launched its newest Widely Viewed Content Report for Facebook, masking Q3 2022, which, for the primary time, isn’t riddled with knowledge gaps as a result of among the hottest posts within the app later being eliminated by Meta for violating its platform guidelines.
Which is just about the alternative of the meant objective of this report.
Meta initially got here up with its Widely Viewed Content Report, which reveals probably the most seen posts and hyperlinks within the app, as a way to counter the narrative that its algorithms assist to amplify right-wing and extremist content material – although to this point, it hasn’t actually succeeded in displaying that this isn’t the case, essentially.
However this time round, together with Meta’s effort to reduce political content in people’s Facebook feeds, probably the most shared and seen content material lists do look somewhat totally different, with a lot much less political-related materials within the combine.
So what are folks on Fb testing?
In essence, it’s a combined bag of grocery store tabloid garbage: a trainer fired for dancing on TikTok, photos of girls who peaked in highschool, Drake taking photographs of a random woman in a restaurant, Madonna’s son as a vogue icon, Brad Pitt’s daughter attending faculty, renewed fan theories about 1998 movie ‘The Guardian Entice’, vaginal tattoos, the Royals – once more, the precise kind of stuff you see on the entrance pages of these magazines alongside the check-out.
Which isn’t shocking, provided that Fb is now predominantly used by older people, as youthful audiences swap to TikTok as an alternative. It appears that evidently all these tales resonate extra with older audiences, salacious gossip, and relatable superstar tales, that make folks really feel extra linked to the celebrities.
Additionally, a narrative about placing peanuts in Coca-Cola:
“Let the peanuts marinate within the Coke for a bit and also you’ve received your self a candy, savory drink with a pleasant little snack on the finish.”
Yeah, no thanks.
Once more, I’m undecided that the Extensively Considered Content material report actually displays what Meta had initially meant, although this newest itemizing does go a way in direction of suggesting that politics just isn’t as dominant within the app because it as soon as was, based mostly on its previous updates.
However then once more, what it does present is that Fb is loaded with junk, with these high 20 hyperlinks alone reaching greater than 200 million folks by means of that app in Q3.
What does that recommend to content material entrepreneurs and people seeking to maximize their Fb attain?
In all probability not a lot, until you’ll find some angle in your promotions that pertains to related tabloid-style developments and superstar gossip.
By way of probably the most seen domains from Fb referrals in Q3, YouTube remained on the high of the listing:
These high domains don’t actually present sufficient context for this to be of worth, as folks may very well be watching something on YouTube, whereas the second pertains to shared GIFs, adopted by fundraisers, TikTok and Amazon.
With out the added perception of what, particularly, individuals are on every, this listing isn’t a lot assist – although I suppose the purpose, from Meta’s perspective, is that Fox Information and associated websites aren’t as dominant as some previous studies have advised.
There’s additionally this:
A complete of 15.2% of the posts displayed in folks’s Fb feeds got here by way of Meta’s automated Feed suggestions, which present folks content material from sources that they’re not following, however could also be concerned about.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has beforehand famous that this will increase over time, with increasingly content material being proven to customers based mostly on AI suggestions, not on their very own social graph or specific, manually chosen follows.
That may very well be a superb factor, and will assist Fb drive extra engagement, or it may push folks away, as they’re confronted with extra random stuff within the app.
Both approach, proper now, it’s already a big component – although whether or not that’s getting extra folks to spend extra time on Fb, we don’t know as but.
Total, the important thing takeaway from this newest Extensively Considered Content material report is that political content material does look like much less of a spotlight for Fb customers – or not less than, it’s getting much less attain. It’s being changed by superstar gossip and junk, however nonetheless, that’s higher than political polarization by way of the Fb feed.
Additionally, AI suggestions are on the rise, and it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how a lot this will increase within the Q2 Extensively Considered Content material replace.
You may take a look at Fb’s Extensively Considered Content material Report for Q3 2022 here.