This week the roundup covers changes to Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad unit, the shiny updated Facebook Insights (with handy infographic), Klout’s explanation of changes to their algorithm for influence and how it works by a couple of their executives. And we wrap it up with the news that through Facebook we’re only 3.74 degrees away from anyone (what does this mean for poor Kevin Bacon?).

Facebook Ads in the Ticker

This week Facebook began showing ads in the Ticker in the form of Sponsored Stories. When Sponsored Stories ad units were launched last year, they only to showed up in your News Feed and then this summer they expanded into the Games Ticker. Since Facebook didn’t receive significant complaints, they expanded even further to include them in the standard Ticker, which happened this week. These ads will be subtle — the only difference from the regular content is that they will be labeled “Sponsored”. Some people see this as a sneaky approach to getting people to click on ads. But as long as these ads aren’t flooding the Ticker, I think it could be a positive shift in advertisements because the ads will include some social content or context. It will be interesting to see what the further reactions to this roll out will be. What do you think of this change?

Facebook’s New Insights

Facebook also rolled out their new insights this week. All of the analytics are presented in a visual format, giving Page administrators a more organized and detailed look at the analytics about fan interaction and engagement on their Page. The insights tab is further broken down by “Likes,” “Reach,” and “Talking About This.” The “Likes” section will help you narrow in on your target market, making sure that your tone, voice of brand and content are resonating with the right people by providing detail about the demographics of your fans.

The “Reach” section shows you the number of people that have seen your content and then this information can be leveraged by looking into which days had the most reach and what you shared on those days. Lastly, the “Talking About This,” section shows you who have reacted to content on your Page so you can better target your content.

The new algorithm focuses on “People Talking About This” or the number of “stories” your Page is producing and in turn creating shared content. A story is: when someone “Likes” your Page, posts to your Wall, “Likes,” comments or shares one of your posts, answers a question, mentions your Page, tags your Page, checks in at your Place or recommends your Place. Admins can now obtain insights into what type of posts have greater chances of going viral (the number of people reached multiplied by the number that actually took action).

Take a look at this Infographic for a little cheat sheet:

 

Klout on Algorithms and their Business

Klout has been taking heat over user privacy and the legitimacy the algorithms they use for determining an individual’s online influence. Klout actually changed their algorithm last month and Social Media Today author, Rohn Jay Miller interviewed Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez, which you can read here.

Also check out this video of Klout’s VP of Platform, Matt Thomson at the WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas talking about their business and its mission. I found it interesting to hear that they consider themselves more consumer-focused than business-focused. They say that individuals can know whom they are influencing and then identify brands that they may want to connect with and reach out to. I like this angle, put the power in the influencer’s hands because they are the ones that have achieved their influence!

4 Degrees of Separation?

You’ve heard of the six degrees of separation right? Well it just got smaller, thanks to no other than the world’s largest social network, Facebook. New research shows that we are now only 3.74 people away from knowing someone. Facebook’s study looked to see if modern technology made it easier to connect with people worldwide and of course the answer is yes, resulting in cutting the six degree rule almost in half. It really is a small world after all!

 

 

 

 

 

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