Reflecting on Facebook friendships on World Friendship Day

Happy World Friendship day from Clicky!

Whilst World Friendship Day may seem like a fairly recent phenomenon, spurred on by the greeting card industry, you may be surprised to learn that it actually dates back to the 1930s.

A formal day of celebration to honour your nearest and dearest (those in close proximity to you as well as those miles away), traditionally, World Friendship Day saw communities unite and celebrate with the exchange of gifts. However, with the prolific use of social media today, we’ve started to see more and more people celebrating by posting their appreciation online instead.

In light of World Friendship Day, we’ve been thinking about the platform which grounds its foundations in friends and connections; Facebook. If you hadn’t already noticed, earlier this year Facebook declared to revert back to their traditional aims and put extra emphasis on meaningful interactions. What this means for you and I, is that our newsfeed should no longer be as jam-packed with brands, publishers, marketers and news stories. Instead, Facebook has started to prioritise and promote genuine interactions between you and your friends/family in aid of striving towards a better Facebook experience and ultimately increasing the well-being of its users.

Facebook believes this new update fulfills their core values explicitly. These being:

  • Friends and family come first – the ultimate aim for Facebook is to connect people
  • The newsfeed should inform and entertain – Facebook works hard to display personal informative content that is entertaining to individual users
  • A platform for all ideas – Facebook deems to be a space when individuals and ideas can connect
  • Authentic communication – statistically users enjoy posts that are genuine
  • Users control their own experience – by customising preferences i.e hiding or unliking
  • Constant iteration – Facebook believe their work is never done and are always coming up with new opportunities to make the user experience better

Let’s dive into the technical side of the new Facebook update. By refreshing the newsfeed algorithm, Facebook have altered the way in which posts are ranked, the result of which allows Facebook users to more frequently engage with the people and posts they care about most.

Ranking factors that will boost posts to the top of the newsfeed are:

  • Comments
  • Reactions – posts that receive ‘loves’ are even more valued than ‘likes’
  • Comment replies – creating conversational posts
  • Sharing links over messenger – sharing links on your profile wall is great, however, links in messenger will create a higher ranking score
  • Engagement on shares – on Facebook it is no longer enough to just share content, you need to receive engagement from your shared post

All of the above are priority signals for meaningful interactions, yet there are a few others which follow:

  • Average time spend on content
  • The time of posting – it’s best to post when users are online
  • Form of content (video, image, link, text) – Facebook indicates that live video leads to discussion, so maybe this is most favourable
  • Completeness of page profile
  • How informative the post is

Some pages have found loopholes by using engagement bait tactics such as ‘Like this if…’, however, the new Facebook algorithm will restrict these posts, ensuring they appear less frequently even though they have higher engagement rates, simply because they go against Facebook’s core values of authenticity.

Overall, the newsfeed refresh will alter the visibility of organic content that produces passive Facebook behaviour. So what does this mean for marketers? Publishers and marketers will need to work twice as hard in order to remain visible, by creating conversational posts.

Here at Clicky, we truly value face-to-face interactions, and aim to build lasting relationships with our clients. We’d love to know how you’re celebrating World Friendship day today!  

Written by Sascha Richards

Marketing and Research Assistant