All the major changes Facebook has made in 2013

The ever-evolving social media site took a few cues from Twitter this year, enabled promotions in news feeds, and changed its algorithm, among other developments.

Last week, Facebook announced a big change to the way businesses can administer promotions.

It sent a few people into a tizzy. They aired their displeasure at yet another change made to the platform.

Facebook isn’t owned by its users, even though Mark Zuckerberg and his team tell us otherwise every chance they get.

People should remember that you are essentially “paying rent” to have a presence on Facebook and that Zuckerberg is the landlord.

Instead of waxing lyrical about the importance of investing in channels you truly own, let’s take a look at the major changes Facebook has instituted in 2013. Past, after all, is prelude.

1. Graph search. Facebook updated its search function to highlight key areas of the platform including people, places, photos, and interests

2. The new News Feed. The biggest change made in 2013, Facebook updated the primary news feed look and feel to better align with the mobile product.

3. Timeline tweaks. Facebook made some subtle adjustment to user timelines with the introduction of boxes to showcase the things you like, including movies, TV shows, and books.

4. “I am doing…” Users can tell their friends what they are doing in status updates. For example: I am watching tennis on ESPN.

5. Verified pages and profiles. Facebook borrowed a popular Twitter feature and introduced a verification feature to help users identify genuine high-profile accounts from knockoffs.

6. Simplifying Facebook ads. The suite of Facebook ad types were significantly reduced to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to navigate the self-serve ad platform.

7. Introduction of hashtags. This has been one of the most talked about changes in 2013. Facebook introduced hashtags to help categorize conversations and make the search function more useful.

8. Videos on Instagram. Although this change wasn’t specifically made to Facebook, Instagram is owned by Facebook and has made integration between the services a priority. Many people viewed this change as a response to popular short-form video platform Vine.

9. Farewell EdgeRank, hello new algorithm. Page managers prided themselves on understanding EdgeRank, which helped determine how much visibility a post would receive within the Facebook news feed. Facebook canned EdgeRank in favor of a new algorithm that takes more than 1,000 factors into account when assessing its popularity and value in the news feed.

10. High-quality content gets rewarded. Just after the algorithm change was announced, Facebook instructed users to create better content to benefit from the change.

11. Promotions allowed within the News Feed. Page admins no longer have to use apps to create and host promotions, which had become a major feature of the platform in recent years.

If you’d like to read a post that focuses on the reasons why Facebook has made some of its most recent changes, click here.

A version of this story first appeared on the author’s blog.


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