You know what the problem is with article links on Facebook? They aren’t photos, meaning they can’t compete with the engagement rates photos see on Facebook. First of all, article links take up less space in the News Feed, which makes them less engaging, and, since your Feed is mostly comprised of photo posts, article links only represent about 2% of the posts you see on Facebook. They just don’t stand a chance.
The thing is, article links can be a lot cooler than photos because they can contain multiple media types, including pictures and video, accompanied by relevant text. It appears Facebook is trying to up engagement rates for article links by unofficially rolling out a new feature for Pages. It seems that now, featured images for article links will be featured much larger, across the full width of a Facebook post, making the article link look much more appealing. These larger image previews have been spotted on both Pages themselves and within the News Feed.
Facebook recently implemented hashtags and a Trending Topics section to its network, both features that Twitter has had for some time. Is it just me or is Facebook becoming more and more like Twitter every day? Let’s compare a recent article link we shared to our live blog of Apple’s press event that we shared both on Facebook and on Twitter:
Facebook Article Post – Image Preview
Twitter Article Post – Photo Card Preview
#Apple Press Event: What Will the New #iPhone Look Like? [LIVE BLOG] http://t.co/BTkn4xAVob
— DASHBURST (@DashBurst) September 10, 2013
As you can see from this comparison, the image preview appears full-width on both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s preview, though, is accompanied by more descriptive text pulled from the article.
If this new feature for article links is here to stay, Page managers and bloggers alike should see a big boost in link engagement on Facebook!
Have you seen these big photo previews yet for articles on Facebook?