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Facebook has recently changed an algorithm that controls which sites get highlighted in your News Feeds, effectively limiting traffic to viral publishers such as Upworthy, ViralNova and the like. Not only has this cleaned up your news feeds, it’s also going to change the viral content industry. So what’s changed? Let’s take a look.

Facebook-Upworthy Page

What Changed, Exactly?

At the start of December, Facebook announced changes to their News Feed which would ensure better content was being delivered to users. As always, it’s hard to guess what Facebook means when they say things like this, so it’s taken a few months for people doing a little bit of data analysis to work out what has changed. It seems that Comscore worked out that these viral content makers were experiencing a drop in traffic, which implied lowered traffic from Facebook. Digiday and Salon have both written great articles about the results of the changes, so take a read.

Wow. Facebook just did something amazing to crummy meme sites. And what they do next might shock everyone — Salon.com

That’s Great – I’m Sick Of Upworthy!

You’re not alone. Lots of people are sick of Upworthy. So much so that extensions like Downworthy have been built purely to make fun of linkbait headlines This Painfully Ordinary Chrome Plugin Is Probably Slightly Less Boring Than Working This Painfully Ordinary Chrome Plugin Is Probably Slightly Less Boring Than Working Sick of sites that share someone else's content and give it a linkbait headline? The Downworthy Chrome Plugin turns flagrantly linkbait headlines into something a bit more… Well, honest. Read More . In fact, Digiday noted that this Facebook traffic lull may simply be due to users are tiring of these linkbait sites. Unlikely, but perhaps so. Whatever the reason, if you’re sick of Upworthy you need not do anything. It’s likely that Facebook will reduce the amount of links you see. If this isn’t good enough, you can manually work on curating your news feed 3 New Tricks To Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed [Weekly Facebook Tips] 3 New Tricks To Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed [Weekly Facebook Tips] Since joining Facebook, you probably made friends with lots and lots of people for many different reasons - some may not be very relevant anymore. It's time to clean up your feed, isn't it? Read More .

Facebook-ViralNova-Page

Between November 2013 and January 2014, a long list of so-called “social publishers” saw their traffic dip substantially, according to comScore. Traffic to Upworthy dropped 51 percent. Traffic to Elite Daily dropped 47 percent. Traffic to Vice dropped 22 percent, to BroBible by 17 percent, to Huffington Post by 16 percent. Between December and January traffic to Distractify and Thought Catalog dropped 30 percent and 7 percent, respectively. — Digiday

What If I Want To See Upworthy Links On Facebook?

If you love Upworthy or any of the other viral-content-producing sites, all you need to do to keep seeing their stuff is to specifically let Facebook know. I mean, it’s not like they’re going to stop producing content or stop getting shared on Facebook.

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Facebook - Add To Interest Lists

First step is to like their Facebook Page. Now you need to add the page to a specific Interest List Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Is Facebook driving you crazy? Most people who use Facebook generally view the home feed in its unfiltered form, which means they're seeing updates from friends, acquaintances and pages all lumped in together and shown... Read More as shown above. Maybe make a topic called “Viral Content” so you can easily get rid of them later if you change your mind.

Facebook-Create-Interest-List

If You Are A Content Producer

If you run a Facebook Page or a website producing content you hope will be shared on Facebook, there are still plenty of ways to get your content noticed. For starters, read up on ways to make your Facebook Page popular 10 Great Ways To Improve Your Facebook Page's Popularity 10 Great Ways To Improve Your Facebook Page's Popularity Facebook pages come in all manner of different shapes and sizes. Many are pretty lame, gaining very few likes and with hardly anyone talking about them. Obviously the subject of the page is the most... Read More , including generic popularity tips for Facebook How You Can Make Your Facebook Group Popular [Weekly Facebook Tips] How You Can Make Your Facebook Group Popular [Weekly Facebook Tips] So, you made a Facebook group but there's hardly anyone in it? Or maybe you made a group for a specific bunch of people, but can't seem to get anyone to be active within the... Read More , interesting apps for your Page How To Add Interesting & Important Apps To Your Facebook Page How To Add Interesting & Important Apps To Your Facebook Page Have you ever seen those really cool Facebook Page App Tabs on Facebook Pages and wondered how you could get them yourself? In this post you'll learn how to add those cool app tab. Read More , tips to improve your Edgerank 8 Tips To Increase EdgeRank & Exposure For Your Facebook Page Updates [Weekly Facebook Tips] 8 Tips To Increase EdgeRank & Exposure For Your Facebook Page Updates [Weekly Facebook Tips] If you run a Facebook Page, you probably noticed that there was a change in your reach since September 2012. This is because Facebook revised how its EdgeRank algorithm worked for Pages, making it a... Read More and how to make your blog look great on Facebook 2 Spanking New Ways To Make Your Blog Look Great On Facebook [Weekly Facebook Tips] 2 Spanking New Ways To Make Your Blog Look Great On Facebook [Weekly Facebook Tips] There are new things you can do to make your content look good and be more shareable on Facebook. Here's what you need to know. Read More . Follow the links in the section above on creating Interest Lists, then teach your fans how to make Interest Lists that will include your page.

Most importantly, keep making great content that readers actually enjoy reading. Maybe there will soon come a day when Facebook feeds actually show us only what we want to read, with nothing extra and nothing left out. We can hope.

Have you noticed certain content providers disappearing from your news feed?

  1. Travis Steeman
    February 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Facebook has become a travesty of a bad joke. Google Plus makes FB look exactly like the outdated, mish-mashed, confused and used

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