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Thriving on Facebook After the "Doomsday" Algorithm Change

RebelMouse clients still see tremendous growth on Facebook.

Algorithm Shift Aftermath: How We Got Here

It's been nine months since Facebook's bombshell and so-called "friends and family" algorithm update rocked the digital publishing ecosystem at the beginning of 2018. In January, the massive social platform announced that it would begin to prioritize posts from users' actual Facebook friends in its News Feed over updates from publishers. It was a major move for Facebook to get back to its roots after undergoing intense scrutiny following both the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the fake news fallout that surfaced in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


The announcement had publishers scrambling for new ways to diversify their main distribution strategy in hopes of retaining some sort of social ROI. After all, how are users supposed to find their content if not through the biggest social platform available? Advertisers were quick to declare that organic reach was officially "dead" thanks to the sweeping change. By February, Facebook-dependent new media company LittleThings shut down its operation, citing the dip in reach from the algorithm shift. Though they were able to quickly relaunch after joining RockYou Media.

Seven months after the algorithm change, data from social management platform Buffer found that Facebook Pages had in fact experienced a 50% drop in engagement over the past 18 months.

Source: Buffer

Given the data, publishers have been correct in keeping content diversification top of mind since Facebook's change took effect. Relying solely on a third-party platform for survival is a strategy bound to fail. The silver lining here is that the scramble to distribute content across multiple vehicles has brought about new opportunities for publishers to survive. For example, Instagram has blossomed into a major platform with enough revenue and engagement to go around, and Google has regained its edge on referral traffic over Facebook, bringing in a new age of search.

But what publishers shouldn't do is double down on developers to build a site experience that stands out among their content competition — this can be done without expensive UX/UI teams. It's time for publishers to double down on the opposite to reach their goals. 2018 has proven that it's vital to consolidate tech architecture so more resources can be devoted to content creation and distribution instead.

At RebelMouse, we were born in the age of social. And this means we've been preparing for a shift like Facebook's for years. In turn, we're always braced for the digital space's unpredictable pendulum swings. We're a next-generation enterprise CMS, and a creative agency offering content strategy services from leading traffic experts across the industry. On our platform, your content creators can create dev-like designs that'll set your site apart in just a few clicks. Our proprietary tools help you easily find social influencers to amplify your content with every publish. By making the switch to a full-stack platform that blends product and strategy together, your content is prepared — and even immune to — dramatic algorithm changes and industry shifts.

The Data Doesn't Lie: Our Clients See Explosive Growth on Facebook

Our lean tech solution is the reason our clients are doing more than just surviving on Facebook — they're thriving. By publishing to a nimble, scalable platform that was designed around social distribution, our Rebels find new audiences on Facebook all the time. Part of the reason for this is because they take full advantage of our platform's tools, which makes creating social growth more intuitive. But just as important, they now have the time and resources to refine their content for audience building. But don't only take our word for it. Look at the numbers for yourself.

Grow Your Facebook Audience Before the New Year

Growth and monetization success on Facebook is still possible. If you want to experience stats similar to our clients, request a proposal and let's start working together. In the meantime, you can count on us to not only track every algorithm change on Facebook and Google as they get pushed live, but adapt our platform to flourish alongside every change.

Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Quality Assurance Operations

How We've Perfected Stress-Free Publishing

At RebelMouse, we like to refer to our enterprise publishing platform as "lean tech." Most publishers have a natural inclination to start doubling down on teams of developers who try to build unique experiences to help stand out above the noise. But they should actually be doing the opposite: Lean tech is the preferred way to cut through content saturation. By allowing RebelMouse to obsess over your product, content producers, editors, managers, and everyone in between can focus on creating quality content and taking advantage of opportunities to leverage distributive publishing strategies that create real revenue growth.

One of the major reasons we're able to maintain a lean tech environment is thanks to our approach to quality assurance (QA). We make updates to our platform daily to ensure our clients always have access to the most robust, high-performing, and secure version of our platform. Behind the scenes, this means having a solid QA structure that's efficient, creates less bugs, and catches the ones that do pop up before they go live. It's a system of checks and balances that's hard and costly to replicate on a custom CMS. Here's a glimpse into how it works.

Our Tech Stack Toolbox

  • Cucumber
  • Java
  • Junit
  • Maven
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • TeamCity
  • Zalenium (Selenium Grid)

Our Checks and Balances Workflow

Automated Regression Testing Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Product Update

When an update is first made to RebelMouse, TeamCity immediately triggers the start of automated tests to review integrity.

TeamCity Build

TeamCity Agent

The tests run in parallel on TeamCity's Build Agent. Next, Zalenium creates docker containers with browsers that matches the count of parallel threads. An Allure report is then generated from the test results, which shows the state of the application after the update.

Allure Report Pass

If a test doesn't complete successfully, the testing framework receives a video with a failed test and attaches it to the Allure report.

Allure Report Issue

Based on the report analysis, a QA specialist will create a "bug" ticket in our product management software to address the issue if needed. Then, information about the bug is immediately sent to the project manager and we begin the process of correcting the problem.

The media powerhouses we power can publish with confidence knowing that any product issues that arise are met with a tried-and-true process to fix the problem with little-to-no disturbance to their workflow. If you have any questions about this process, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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