What’s the Difference Between Top News and Most Recent on Facebook? And Why Should Marketers Care?

by Joanna Pineda Posted on May 11, 2011

It’s been forever since Facebook changed it stream to be divided between Top New and Most Recent and many folks are still scratching their heads wondering what’s what. Here’s why you want your updates to be in your friends’ and followers’ Top News streams.

According to Facebook, “Top News shows popular stories from your favorite friends and Pages, many of which have gained lots of attention since the last time you checked.” What this really means is that Top News shows the posts from the people and company page that you interact with the most. For example, I tend to “like” and comment on the updates from my friend Eileen, the photos from my brother Alex and articles from PBS. Since I interact with these Facebook account regularly, their posts are pretty much guaranteed to be in my Top News stream, which, by the way, is the default view.

Top News also displays updates by relevance, based on an algorithm. If a post is getting a lot of comments, it will probably show up at the top of your stream, even if the original post is not the most recent in your stream.

Most Recent “shows updates from as many as 250 friends and Facebook Pages.” This is a more traditional stream because it shows all posts, in chronological order, unless you’ve hidden posts from a specific person or company. If you haven’t checked out Most Recent recently, click on it now and you’ll see posts from a bunch of people and companies you thought weren’t posting. If you start interacting with some of these accounts more, you’ll start to see them in your Top News stream.

What does this mean for marketers?

It means that it’s absolutely not enough to have fans or followers. Your company’s Facebook page can have a million followers but unless they’re liking and commenting, your posts won’t show up in their Top News, which means they’re likely not getting much attention. On the flip side, once you get followers to interact with you more regularly, your posts will show up in Top News, which will further encourage them to like and comment.

Remember, the key to Facebook success is to get your followers to interact with you regularly. I’ll blog in the future about ways to encourage interactions. And oh yeah, I’m doing a webinar next Wednesday, May 18, 11am Eastern on Social Media Marketing and Customer Engagement. Hope you can join me.

BTW, you can edit your stream options by clicking on Edit Options at the bottom of your News streams.

What do you think of Top News vs. Most Recent? Which stream do you prefer?

3 replies on “What’s the Difference Between Top News and Most Recent on Facebook? And Why Should Marketers Care?”

FB changes my setting from “Most Recent” to “Top News” every time I log on. This is annoying and insulting. I should be able to set the defaults on my FB page, and I hate FB assuming that all their users are morons who are only interested in what’s popular.

Not happy at all. I play frontierville and now I cant play the games because I cant get the gifts put on my page. I have left both Pogo and Gamesville because they changed their programs and made it hard to play. I guess I will move on from facebook also.

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