Facebook announced two new updates to their News Feed Algorithm this past Tuesday as part of their effort to improve what appears in a user’s Facebook News Feed. The image above was used during the meeting to explain how the News Feed Algorithm works.

Lars Backstrom, Facebook Engineering Manager, and Chris Cox, VP of Product, also announced that EdgeRank as a term no longer exists. Facebook hasn’t used the term for about 2.5 years.

The two changes include “Story Bumping” and “Last Actor.” They both help deliver “the right content to the right people at the right time” and “show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.”

New Change #1: Story Bumping

Story Bumping moves relevant posts to the top of the Facebook News Feed. Relevancy is based on a user’s behavior, for example, things that a user likes and comments on. The idea is to deliver posts that are specific and relevant to the user versus simply listing posts in chronological order.

At first, it might feel weird to see new and older posts at the top of your News Feed, but with Story Bumping, you’ll find that these posts are tailored and timely.

New Change #2: Last Actor

Last Actor tracks the last 50 interactions a user had on Facebook and uses those signals to help determine what shows up in the News Feed. This is yet another way for Facebook to rank the News Feed and offer only what’s most relevant based on recent behaviors.

Bottom Line: We asked Constant Contact’s Corporate Community Manager, Danielle Cormier, what her thoughts are in regards to Facebook’s recent updates. Here’s what she had to say.

“These changes help you get your content in front of the users that will enjoy it the most. This can really only be a good thing for your small business or nonprofit! When tested, these new updates resulted in 8 percent more engagement on organic posts from Pages and a 13 percent increase in the organic posts individuals read in the News Feed.

But how can you take advantage of these changes?

With Story Bumping, the posts that get “good” engagement rates will live longer in the Facebook News Feed, creating more exposure. Just stay focused on your normal Facebook posting best practices and you’ll naturally create better engagement. With Last Actor, if you are one of the last 50 interactions your fans have, your posts will appear in their News Feed more often. Make sure your fans are interacting with you regularly so that you stay in their News Feed. Keeping to a consistent posting frequency can help you achieve this. Try to schedule at least half of your posts ahead of time to avoid letting days slip by between posts.”

Here are some of the other top stories you should be up-to-date on this week:

Twitter Updates Apps with Photo Galleries

Twitter updated its iOS and Android apps this past Tuesday with photo galleries.

When you perform a search using Twitter’s mobile app, photo galleries will appear in the search. When viewing photos in the results, a “view more photos” option lets you see a gallery of all the photos related to your search. You can also view all of a user’s photos at once and manage and organize lists and list subscriptions from your iPhone or iPad.

Bottom Line: Tweets that contain a photo get more than twice the engagement of text-only posts on Twitter. This once again proves the increasing importance of using images within all of your marketing efforts.

With this new update, Twitter makes it that much easier for your customers to access photos of your business. Next time you tweet, try uploading a photo along with it. See if you get more engagement!

Gail Goodman, Constant Contact CEO, will appear on NECN’s CEO Corner

This Sunday at 8:30 PM ET, Gail Goodman will appear on NECN’s CEO Corner. The segment will cover the growth of Constant Contact from an email marketing company to a multi-product online marketing company. Gail will highlight employee and customer growth, expansion to other markets in the states, and why Constant Contact decided to stay headquartered in MA during our growth. She will also discuss actionable tips for small businesses (while also highlighting a few of Constant Contact tools in greater detail), Then vs. Now Survey data, the company’s desire to innovate, and much more.

Bottom Line: Constant Contact is growing, expanding, and continually looking for new ways to improve the products and services we offer you. Gail is incredibly knowledgeable and will offer some great insider tips for small businesses that you won’t want to miss. You’ll also get a complete look at the success and future of Constant Contact. Tune in this Sunday to get the latest from Gail herself.

Ellen Williams hosts “What Every Small Business Should Know” Webinar

Join Ellen Williams, Constant Contact RDD, on August 15th for the “What Every Small Business Should Know” webinar. This webinar is the first of its kind in the Frontier Small Business “Getting Ahead Series.” Discover more about customer relationship engagement in small business.

This webinar will cover:

1. Who are your ideal customers?
2. Where are your ideal customers?
3. How do you reach your ideal customers?

Bottom Line: Getting to know your customers and learning how to reach them is crucial to the success of any small business or nonprofit. Register for Ellen’s webinar and learn more about customer relationship engagement.

What are your thoughts about Facebook’s recent updates? Share with us in the comments below.