Are pictures still the way to breakthrough the Facebook News Feed? Not as much as you’d think.

One of the standard lines about getting your content to appear in someone’s Facebook News Feed is that you have to do better than just plain text: pictures, videos and links.  After all, Facebook’s algorithm has changed so much that it makes sense that only high-value content would actually make it to someone’s eyes, and pics on Twitter lead to more retweets and engagement.

But, according to a new survey by Socialbakers, that’s no longer the case:


And, for pages with more than 100,000 likes, the results were even more striking:


As you can see, photos are very clearly at the bottom of the list for impressions.  At the top is video, with regular old status updates and links near each others.  What is the takeaway?

First, don’t panic, and don’t make any immediate changes to your social strategy.  One study isn’t enough: more data is needed before you can start acting on this conclusion.  What is advisable, however, is that you start paying closer attention to your own Facebook analytics.  Are pictures still doing well for you?  How are they doing compared to other types of content?

The real takeaway, as far as I am concerned, is that video is rising on Facebook.  This is intentional.  Facebook has making a real challenge to YouTube in this realm, and with some success: in terms of overall internet video views, YouTube is falling and Facebook is rising. This is clearly part of an intentional effort: during the past year, Facebook has started offering tips to users on how to make better, more engaging videos.  It has also unveiled videos that automatically play in your newsfeed and offered more detailed video analytics.

The rise of video on Facebook is a game changer and sets up Facebook to take on a new segment of the internet traffic population.  The conclusion for elected officials and any business that uses social media is obvious: go where the eyes are.  That’s video.

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