Top 10 Inside Facebook posts of 2013

Here’s a comprehensive list of the top-10 most viewed stories on Inside Facebook (with the exception of the monthly PageData leaderboard lists):

1. Status updates to share what you’re doing or feeling will roll out to all U.S. Facebook users in coming weeks (Apr. 10)

When users go to create a post on desktop, Facebook will offer a new smiley face icon next to the options for adding friends, location or an image. This produces a drop down menu of options: “feeling,” “watching,” “reading,” “listening to,” “drinking” and “eating.” Users can then share more details about their current status. The resulting update will include an emoticon to represent the user’s feeling or tag the page associated with the user’s activity. Users can tag friends or location in these posts. They can also include a photo or link.

2. Facebook brings new status updates to mobile so you can share what you’re watching, eating, feeling and more on the go (May 14)

Facebook has brought its new structured status update feature to its mobile website, allowing users to post what they’re watching, reading, eating, drinking, listening to or feeling from their phones.

When this feature was introduced in January and rolled out more widely in April, it did not have a mobile component. Now from, however, users can make these kinds of posts, which suggests that the product is likely coming soon to the native Android and iOS apps.

3. Facebook rolls out photo comments (June 19)

Previously, Facebook would allow users to share an image as a comment by posting a link. It would then pull the image as a thumbnail for easy viewing. With this update, Facebook removes this middle step and allows users upload their images directly from their computer. These images appear larger than those shared by links and are hosted directly on Facebook. Users will not need to take the time to upload an image through a hosting site such as Imgur, Photobucket or many others.

4. Facebook begins supporting emoji in posts and comments on desktop and mobile (May 8)

These features, along with emoji, help users communicate in new ways or say things that might be difficult otherwise. They can also add a bit more fun into the service, which at points has been seen as a cold or sterile platform compared to the flash and flexibility of other social networks. When Facebook released the Poke app, which was sillier than its typically utilitarian features, we wondered if it was a sign of more to come. So far this year it seems that Facebook is lightening up and giving users new options that are popular in other apps.

5. Understanding the difference between Facebook Sponsored Stories, Page Post Ads, Promoted Posts and Marketplace Ads (Jan. 11)

As Facebook builds its ads business and gives advertisers more ways to reach different audiences, a new lexicon has emerged.

The social network has invented terms like Sponsored Stories, Page Post Ads and Promoted Posts, but it doesn’t always explain them or maintain consistent usage over time, especially since the same ads serve different levels of advertisers, who purchase them through varying channels.

6. Facebook events get cover photos (Feb. 22)

Cover photos are available for events created by individuals or by pages. When a user creates an event, they will see a blank space above their event with a button to add a photo. They can upload a new photo or select one they’ve previously posted to the social network. They can move an image up or down to reposition it, but they can not adjust the size through Facebook.

7. Facebook changes cover photo policy: 20% text rule in effect but content less regulated (March 20)

Photos that appeared in News Feed ads previously had similar stipulations, but those were removed earlier this year. Now, rules for cover photos and ad images are consistent. This is important as cover photos are beginning to be included in both organic and sponsored page-Like stories in News Feed. Admins should be aware that the way their cover photo looks on their page is not how it will appear in News Feed, particularly if they include text or arrows, or try to incorporate their profile picture as unified part of the cover.

8. 30 Facebook timeline contest ideas that drive likes and comments (Sept. 18)

Get a picture of whatever your product is with “a lot” of the product featured. This could be your new books stacked on a bookshelf if you’re an author or 100′s of pairs of shoes if you’re Nike. Ask your fans to guess #’s. Its quick, fast, and easy for them to participate.

9. Facebook tests another Timeline layout with elements from new and old designs (March 21)

Facebook confirms that this is an intentional test. Some users disliked the two-column design that required them to look back and forth to see their posts, however the layout is more like a timeline, which was Facebook’s intent with the profile when it relaunched in 2011. In October 2012, Facebook began testing versions that kept posts in a single column and put all other modules to the other side. It seems the company has still not decided which UI is better in terms of user engagement and sentiment.

10. Facebook puts limits on event invites (April 9)

The Facebook Help Center confirms that users cannot send more than 100 event invites at a time and an event can only have 300 pending invites at once. This could hinder the efforts of some event planners or promoters, but also help users avoid getting too many invitations they aren’t relevant to them. As a result, event organizers might experiment with Facebook’s paid options for promoting events to users who are most likely to be interested in them.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.