Facebook Tells Content Producers Which Stories to Share
Facebook has introduced Stories to Share, a tool to help media outlets -- from online publications to TV broadcasters to music startups -- maximize value. Appearing in the media panel of a publisher's Facebook page, Stories to Share makes recommendations based on the number of shares a post has received. When an article gets a certain number of Likes, it will appear in the list.
Facebook tested the new tool with 29 media sites over a seven-day period to observe referral traffic. Although previous experience suggested that too many posts to a Facebook audience might turn off users and cause them to Unlike a page, the new data suggests that more of the right posts increases page views.
"The net result: Posting more frequently increases referral traffic by over 80 percent," said Justin Osofsky, VP of media partnerships at Facebook.
Participating media sites averaged an increase in the number of articles posted to their pages by 57 percent. That translated to an 89 percent increase in the average outbound clicks to their domains, Osofsky explained.
Facebook has rolled out Stories to Share to 1,500 media organizations, spokesperson Meredith Chin told the E-Commerce Times.
"Stories to Share is simply a way of telling publishers which of their content is getting the most traction in social, so that publishers can then seamlessly push this content to the news feed and, given that it's already been identified as highly engaging content, engage their community with content of the highest standard," Jeremy Leon, social strategist at Laundry Service, told the E-Commerce Times.
In addition to helping publishers, the Stories to Share tool aims to deepen Facebook's user base.
"Facebook is continually looking for more ways to increase sharing by users, and Stories to Share is the latest tactic for businesses," said Josh Crandall, principal analyst at Netpop Research.
"It's a win-win for publishers and Facebook," he continued. "Publishers will now know which stories they can add to their pages and increase the momentum."
Facebook gains feedback and data on what is trending. It will get data that it can sell advertising against as a bonus.
"This feature also shares insights into the type of content that is popular on the social site, possibly informing the types of stories publishers decide to focus on. Ultimately, Facebook wins by increasing the amount of content and interaction that is available on the site, presumably bringing users back more frequently to view and click on ads," Crandall told the E-Commerce Times.
Stories to Share will benefit Facebook, publishers, and perhaps readers as well.
"Facebook's Stories to Share function is a win for everyone," said Leon. "Publishers get insight into their most engaging pieces of content, users get a constant stream of amazing content in their news feeds, advertisers get an increase in engaged users comsuming content on Facebook, and Facebook gets a steady stream of ad revenue from these advertisers. This is the first feature Facebook has released in a long while that benefits everyone."