It’s hard to remember the time when our Facebook News Feeds weren’t cluttered with ads and branded content. It seems that over the years, the social media platform has abandoned its ways as a social platform connecting people, and focused on distributing news and online ads. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Facebook has been struggling to retain a younger audience.
The social media platform recently announced that it plans to change its News Feed algorithm to be more social. This change is going to show fewer news-related articles and put a higher priority on posts from friends and family, similar to the original version of Facebook that we all came to know and love.
This News Feed update is going to put the user first and begin to focus on the meaningful interactions and connections. Here’s what you need to know:
Why are they doing this?
In Mark Zuckerberg’s post, he talks about how posts from businesses and brands have been “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” He goes on to say research shows that using social media to connect with friends and family “can be good for our well-being.” On the other hand, Zuckerberg also mentions that “passively reading articles or watching videos may not be as good.”
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These changes will take a few months to roll out across everyone’s News Feeds. You can expect to begin to see more content from your friends and family, and less public content from business, brands, and media. This type of public content will be held to a high standard that “encourages meaningful interactions between people.”
Marcus Andrews, HubSpot’s senior product marketing manager said “Facebook has clearly put a stake in the ground that user experience is more important than the brands that pay them. By making this shift they clearly prioritized one over the other, and are potentially a bit nervous about the current (really negative) narrative about the negative impact of social media on society.”
Who will be affected?
Marketers can expect to see less engagement with their brand’s Facebook posts. Zuckerberg expects that these changes will cause people to spend less time on Facebook and decrease some measures of engagement. However, he also expects the “time you do spend on Facebook to be more valuable.”
Pages will likely see their reach, video watch time, and traffic decrease. Posts that spark a great amount of discussion amongst users will rank higher than posts with poor engagement. Marketers should create content for engagement and shareability. However, proceed with caution because Facebook penalizes Pages that use “engagement bait“.
Remember, there are certain types of content that promote more shares and organic conversation – like live videos. As marketers, we must remember to listen to our audience and create quality content that is catered to their interests.
What are your thoughts on the latest News Feed change? Keep the conversation going by commenting below or tweeting @WTWH_Aly.