Mobile technology is here to stay, and it has become more popular since Smartphones made their appearance. Recent estimates were based upon a cross section of people surveyed, and it estimates that over six million people use the Facebook app. So, it may be a good idea to start optimizing your content for the Facebook App.
A little information about the Facebook app
It is built specifically for a small screen. That is why many things that appear on the desktop version of Facebook, do not appear on the app. Plus, many functions that you may access on the profile/home page of Facebook, are not available on the profile/home page of the app. You have to do a little digging in order to find your favorite tools and functions.
You must also remember that the navigation on the app is built for a touch screen. This should not matter in many cases, but try to keep it in mind if you are trying to add links.
The News Feed function
This is what first appears on the Facebook app screen. It shows people the most recent news, which from the Facebook perspective involves the most comments and profile posts.
The text that people are looking at is smaller than on the desktop screen, but this does not matter as much as you think it does. A person’s phone is often very close to their face, and they expect the text to be small. Do not make the mistake of making anything you write/post bigger to compensate.
What you do have to deal with is the fact that most people hit the News Feed page and instantly start scrolling. So, your posts need to be eye catching, or they need to interrupt the user’s flow when scrolling.
Making you posts eye catching
This involves nothing more than making your posts more visually appealing. Even if you post large chunks of written text, it needs to start in a more visually appealing way. It needs to be fairly simple in its design (at least to start), and the more unique it is–the better. Do not go overboard with the “unique” thing; keep it unique but conformist.
Causing an interruption in scrolling
This is bad advice unless it is done with a little expertise. There are a few tips below on how to stop people skim reading and scrolling, and make them take a few seconds longer to look at your post. But, the tips are based upon an understanding of how skim reading works. You first need to understand how skim reading works in order to manipulate people into stopping skim reading. Here is a brief explanation.
When people read, they actually look several words ahead, and use their memory to tell their brains what they have just read. Whilst the brain is processing the words that are stored in our temporary (short-term) memory, the eyes are reading a few words ahead. People who have trouble reading a few words ahead are the ones who struggle to read text aloud.
When people skim read, their eyes are not looking several words ahead, they are looking at lines (or paragraphs in some cases), picking relevant words, and then allowing themselves to memorize and comprehend the words around them. As you may imagine, the process is a lot more complex than this (as the brain is still an enigma to us all), but that is basically the gist of what happens. The tips below are all ways you can interrupt that process, so that people are forced to look at certain words and memorize/comprehend the words around them. If you are lucky, you will get the skim reader to inadvertently read the whole sentence (or even the whole thing if it captures his/her interest).
Tips for slowing or stopping skim readers
Use unusual symbols and characters. They are used on eBay all the time, and are often used on sharing sites too. They stop the reader from being physically able to skim read, and they are eye catching too. Sadly however, it is a technique that is over used.
Do not use capital letters to write your titles, or worse still, to write your posts. Capital letters are more eye catching, but they are also harder to read. If you must use capital letters, then capitalize the first letter of each word.
Insert white space into your posts. Posts are easier to read if you split them with smaller paragraphs. It is the white space that does this. Also, white space acts as a physical break from skim reading, and can jolt the reader back into reading mode, instead of skim reading mode.
Question marks are also good little devices for stopping skim readers. People take them personally (on a deep subconscious level), which means that if you put a question mark at the end of a sentence, the brain is going to dedicate a few extra micro-seconds to it. Do not make the mistake of adding lots of question marks to the end of questions, because people often ignore such things.