Photo by: Cardinal de la Ville.
Photo by: Cardinal de la Ville for Socialfixer.com.

Over the past couple of days, Facebook made some announcements previewing promising new changes ahead for the social media giant.

On Thursday, Facebook announced a new deal with Shutterstock that will make millions of stock photos in its library available for Facebook advertisers to use through Facebook’s online ad creation tool.

Facebook has over 1 million advertisers and it’s clear they’re making a serious play for more. Advertisers won’t have to pay anything for high-quality stock images used in their ads because Facebook is footing the bill. Facebook’s new image uploader offers the ability to select a range of Page photos, images used in prior ads and Shutterstock images.

With one of the coolest new ad features, you’ll be able to select up to 6 images and test them out to which image helps your ad perform better. This should mean better Facebook ad targeting than ever before for brands.

Expect to see the option to integrate Shutterstock images into ads in the next few weeks.

Newsfeed

Mostly since the introduction of Timeline, Facebook’s had serious problems with Newsfeed.

How many times have you visited Facebook occasionally throughout the day and seen the same content? That happens a lot for me and its drove me to use a Facebook less and Twitter more.

The old ranking system, called EdgeRank, has finally been replaced. With the new algorithm, Facebook says its focusing on pushing fresh, “high quality” content from Pages higher up on a user’s Newsfeed.

Right now Facebook uses a technical algorithm that takes several factors into account to rank posts and create a personalized Newsfeed for each user. Important designated ranking factors for posts include the author, number of likes, comments and shares.

To understand what people really want, Facebook surveyed users and asked them what made content important to them. The new algorithm is based on those respondents and it will now consider over 1,000 different factors when determining high quality content. Content will be mainly ranked based on quality of the page’s other content and the level of profile completion.

Facebook says it tested the new algorithm on “a small segment of users” and found those users engaged more with content on their feeds and hid fewer stories.

We’ve heard similar stories before on algorithm improvement, so we’ll just have to wait and see how much the Newsfeed really improves.

Look for the new algorithm to be rolled out over the next few weeks to users on both desktop and mobile.

One other development on Facebook’s horizon: updating its mobile apps for managing Pages. With the update, Page managers can upload multiple photos to a single post, edit existing Page administrators and add new Page administrators on a mobile device. It isn’t shocking this would be a pressing priority given a recent report that showed Facebook’s mobile usage is surging and desktop use declining. Facebook says nearly half of its ad business comes from mobile devices now.

I’m both excited and skeptical about some of these planned changes. So, what do you think?