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Facebook Tests New Page Design Which De-Emphasizes Like Counts

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Facebook is testing a new Page format in its app which is designed to put more emphasis on the essential Page details – and which also, interestingly, removes the option to Like a Page, with the focus instead shifted to ‘Following’.

Facebook Page test

The above example, shared by TechCrunch, shows the current format (left) and the new format side-by-side. As you can see, the new layout includes a larger, central profile image, a short statement beneath the name, and larger text for the key details.

But the biggest change is the removal of the Like button. As you can see, the main CTA button on the new Page is a prominent, blue ‘Follow’ prompt, while the total Like count is also not displayed. Instead, a total ‘followers’ figure is shown.

That actually makes a lot of sense. While people who Like a Facebook Page also automatically become followers of the same, many subsequently opt to stop following at some stage. So while your Like count might be 1,000, at least some of those people won’t be seeing your updates. But your followers will. People who’ve expressly chosen to follow a Page will (in most cases) see all of that Page’s updates, and in this respect, the follower count is far more valuable than the Like figure. 

That doesn’t mean that Likes serve no purpose – Facebook still uses Likes as a proxy for a Page’s popularity and relevance, which would have some impact on reach within its algorithm. But then again, given the fact that it’s now testing the removal of Page Likes as an option, it probably isn’t weighting them very heavily. 

So really, Followers is a much more relevant indicator, any way you look at it.

The new Page layout also includes some admin and system changes that will make Pages easier to manage.

For one, Facebook is looking to make it easier to switch between your personal and business Pages, so you can comment and interact from each with a few taps. Facebook’s also looking to make it easier to assign and manage admin access permissions based on specific Page elements.

Facebook Page test

These changes are relatively minor, but helpful either way, while the removal of Likes has more broader reaching implications and considerations, which could eventually change the general Facebook management process.

The new format is currently being tested with a small group of public figures, but Facebook is broadening the test over time to more Pages. If/when it becomes available to you, you’ll be notified in the app.

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Twitter Moves to Next Stage of Testing for its New ‘Status’ Indicators

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Twitter Moves to Next Stage of Testing for its New ‘Status’ Indicators

Do you struggle to provide adequate context within the 240 characters allowed for tweets?

If so, then you’re in luck, as Twitter’s developing a range of tweet status indicators, which will eventually provide a simple way to add another element to your tweeted message, which could help to better communicate meaning and intent.

Or not. As shared by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, this is the current listing of Twitter status options in testing:

Pretty unique combination of possible status alerts here – a mix of trending sayings and popular activities. Users won’t be able to create their own status, you’d have to use one of these presets – which is a little restrictive, but it could be handy? Maybe.

Twitter’s been testing out its Status indicators for a while, with the original list of status options, which Wong also tweeted back in July, including a few that have been culled as part of this expansion.

Twitter Status

As you can see, when you add a Status, it will be displayed above your tweet, and below your username, adding immediate context to your message.

Status indicators would also be searchable, with users able to tap on a status indicator, which will take you through to a listing of all the tweets that have applied the same activity.

Twitter Status

Really, Twitter’s actually been testing Status markers out since 2018, when it previewed this format for the option.

Twitter Status indicator

The idea, at that stage, seemed to be to help people list events that they were attending, which users often do already by adding the event hashtag to their username. A status indicator would make this easier, while also helping people connect around said event – but since then, Twitter’s revised its approach to the markers, making them more of a topical sorting option to help users find relevant activity and engagement opportunities.

Which, I guess, they could facilitate.

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Maybe, by tapping on ‘Picture of the Day’ that could become another engagement and discovery element, or by tapping ‘Hot Take’ you could find more tweets to interact with, and add your own opinion.

It could be a handy way to sort tweets by topic, which could be beneficial. Maybe, though I’m not sure that it’s going to have much of an impact on overall tweet engagement.

Twitter’s been working to add in more content sorting and discovery tools over the past couple of years, including Communities, Circles for private chats, and topics in the Audio tab. Twitter also added and the capacity to follow Topic streams back in 2019, which it had hoped would give users more ways into Twitter discussions, and to find interactions more relevant to their interests.

For more regular users, those probably aren’t particularly useful – but for new users coming in, they could be important, as Twitter isn’t overly intuitive for people when first starting out. This has been an issue for the platform since forever, and these types of additional discovery measures could help to address this. 

If Twitter can integrate them in an effective, engaging way.

The problem on this front is that Twitter’s topics algorithms are still fairly basic, with the tweets shown to users within topic streams often being off-topic, even offensive, because they’re being displayed based on basic keyword mentions and total engagement with each tweet, not on relevance.

Which is why the Spaces/Audio tab isn’t attuned to your interests, based on usage, why the ‘Who to Follow’ display is never locked into users you might be interested in. It’s all too basic, and in this sense, Twitter has fallen behind other platforms on algorithmic sorting and alignment.

Which is why it’s now seeking more manual intervention, by letting users add status markers to categorize discussion.

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Which seems like a backwards step, given that other platforms are becoming increasingly good at showing you more content based on your interests, without you needing to do anything other than use each app.

But maybe, it’ll become a thing, and provide another way for Twitter to boost engagement.

There’s no official release plan in place for Twitter’s status updates as yet, but they’re likely coming very soon.   



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