Last week was a big week for Facebook, with the platform announcing plans to add a new ‘City Guides’ feature to improve personal recommendations, as well as providing a fresh insight into how reactions will affect the ranking of posts in the News Feed.
Following the introduction of Facebook’s reactions just over a year ago, the platform has revealed last week that these will now affect post rankings slightly more than ‘Likes’. This is based on the company’s discovery that reactions provide “an even stronger” signal than ‘Likes’ that users want to see a post.
As The Next Web explains, this is backed up by the fact that ‘liking’ a post is still the default action (as well as one that can be quickly completed with just one click). ‘Reacting’ to a post, however, indicates stronger emotions as it requires the user to make a long press or hovering action.
Additionally, with the introduction of their new ‘City Guides’ feature, Facebook users will now be able to get recommendations for popular locations directly from the platform, and these will be based on the places your Facebook friends have visited.
As Social Media Today reports, this feature will use location data and Facebook ‘check-ins’ to provide a list of major cities those in your network have already visited. From there, you’ll be able to click on profile image bubbles of your friends, and this will present you with a list of places they went to whilst visiting that city.
The justification for this feature, as Social Media Today theorises, is that users are more likely to trust the recommendations of their Facebook friends over that of review sites and marketing materials (and this includes Business Pages across the platform).
Following testing last year, it appears the feature is now being gradually rolled out to all users, though this is likely to be a long process.
The TJM take: As the new ‘City Guides’ feature will only show recommendations based on the places your Facebook friends have visited, businesses won’t be able to influence what appears on the list (for now, at least). Nonetheless, with Facebook happily generating revenue from their ads service, we can see this potentially becoming a paid feature in the future.
However, despite the positives of City Guides being able to offer more personal recommendations to users (and therefore a more personalised experience), there’s a concern that Facebook are trying too many new things in short succession, which will just over-complicate the platform.
*Image source: Social Media Today
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