This week I’m launching a regular blog feature called “New and Improved on the Social Web.” The social media landscape continually iterates, and it’s hard to keep up with all the changes. Platforms and apps I know and love suddenly have new capabilities, add-ons, and changes. In this regular roundup, I’ll be highlighting some of the latest changes and iterations to social media platforms, apps and tools, and commenting on their implications. This week, I’m discussing changes to delicious (social bookmarking) and Facebook.
Delicious, the social bookmarking site, just rolled out a completely new web interface as well as a new product, delicious stacks. The new interface is fun and updated, and brings the brand experience in line with today’s web experience and expectations. While delicious has always enabled users to bookmark, tag, and publicly share bookmarked URLs and tags, users were not been able to compile sharable topic areas. The new feature, Stacks, is delicious’ version of publicly curated content streams. Any delicious user may create a topic (called a stack) and add links from around the web to that create a stack of the topic. Delicious users can follow stacks, share stacks with others, and save individual links within others’ stacks.
With the stacks rollout, delicious is clearly trying to be a player in the content curation trend. If this succeeds, stacks could easily compete with other curation tools such as Google Reader, scoop.it and Pearltrees.
Changes to Facebook Pages
Facebook announced a lot of upcoming changes to Facebook at their F8 developer conference in September. Some of those changes are rolling out now, with implications for your page.
Open commenting allowed on page walls and posts
One of the more significant changes to your page is that any Facebook user can Like or comment on your page’s posts and post to its wall, without Liking the your page first. Just as you had previously managed your settings to allow fans to write or post content to your Facebook wall, the new permission allows “users” to do so. One note: this is an automatic “opt-out” change – if you allowed fans to post, the new settings automatically allow any Facebook user to post.
Potentially more people will post to your page and Like its content because they can interact with it more easily. Ideally, more Facebook users will see your content because the increased commenting will appear in users’ newsfeeds (now called “tickers.”) A user still has to Like a page for that specific page’s updates to show up in his/her ticker. On the other hand, there is less incentive to Like a page if a user just wants to post or comment. The largest implication I see is that page admins now have an even better incentive to create engaging and sharable content.
“People are Talking About”(PATA) metric and new Insights
The new metric appears below your page’s Likes, on the left-hand side of the wall. It is Facebook’s attempt to benchmark and reveal how engaging your page’s content is. The PATA metric includes people who “have created a story about your post,” and creating a “story” includes people who:
- like, share, or comment on a post either on the wall
- answer a Question on your page
- mention your page or tag it or a photo of yours
- like or share a check-in deal, or check-in in at your Facebook Place
The new Facebook Insights offers a more subtle breakdown of engagement by individual post than the old Insights. The previous individual Post Impressions metric has been replaced with multiple engagement metrics: Reach, Engaged Users, Talking About This, and Virality.
According to Search Engine Land’s comprehensive summary of the new Insights:
“The goal of Pages insights for Page admins is to understand what drives that number and how they can best engage their advocates, so that they can get a sense of how to optimize their Page content to increase the people they’re reaching with their messages. Which means that no matter the size of your Page’s audience, you can really get a good sense for which posts spread and get shared with others.”
I believe the new Insights will offer admins a more accurate sense of how engaging their pages’ content is with fans. If nonprofits are using social media to move online fans to take action, and to help the organization further its mission of changing the world, then creating more online engagement is a critical step in that path.
Recommended reading list for information about Facebook’s recent changes
Demystifying Facebook’s “People Are Talking About This” Metric from Search Engine Land
Is The New Facebook “People Are Talking About” Metric Useless? from Beth Kanter
Notes from Mari Smith’s Facebook Changes Webinar from Mari Smith via Beth Kanter
Five Recent Upgrades to Facebook Pages Your Nonprofit May Not Know About from Nonprofitorgs
Seven Ways Facebook’s Subscribe Button Could Be A Game Changer from John Haydon