It’s been a couple of weeks since Facebook announced some pretty major changes to its News Feed, and if you’re anything like us, you’re still trying to process it all. For those that aren’t as “in the know”, Facebook announced that it will use a new ranking system to determine what is shown in your feed and will focus more on the posts that come from your friends and relatives rather than publishers and businesses. So, what exactly does this mean for brands? Let’s break it down.
1. Fewer Posts from Pages
This is the one that hurts publishers and brands alike. What Facebook has basically said is that public content, including videos, will be seen less, resulting in a dip of reach, video views, and referral traffic. They do; however, admit that this will vary from Page to Page and depends mainly on the type of content that is created and how audiences interact.
Facebook is looking to promote posts that will engage in more “meaningful conversations”. So, Pages that don’t currently receive a lot of engagement will be hurt the most by this change. Facebook has also been quite transparent in that any posts using “engagement-bait” type verbiage (think “share this if you agree!” or “like for yes and angry face for no”) will be demoted as well and won’t be delivered to people’s News Feeds.
2. More Posts from Friends and Family
So then, what will users see on their News Feed? More posts from Aunt Carol is what. Facebook has promised that in place of posts from businesses and publishers, users will see more posts from their friends and family to again help in creating and encouraging more meaningful conversations. Don’t worry; if Aunt Carol goes on one of her political rants, you have more options to ensure you don’t see that content either with their new “snooze” option. This allows you to essentially mute their posts for a predetermined amount of time. You still have the option to unfollow them as well or if you’re really savage, unfriend them all together. But let’s be honest, Aunt Carol posts some pretty entertaining stuff sometimes…sometimes.
3. Facebook’s Own Daily Use Will Suffer
When Mark Zuckerberg made the initial announcement about this change, he also admitted that he expects the overall time spent on the site will decrease as well. People need their memes and if they’re not going to get them on Facebook, they’re not afraid to go to other sites to get their fix! In all seriousness, while he does note a decrease in time spent, he does mention that the time you do spend on the site will hopefully be more valuable. Kudos for the glass half full outlook ole Zucky!
4. Pay to Play
While Facebook has told brands to not completely overhaul their social media strategies just yet, one can’t help but wonder what this will mean for the paid side of things. Will the cost to advertise on the platform rise? Will it be the only way for brands and publishers to have their content seen? Facebook is saying not at this time, but most marketers can’t help but wonder if they will have to allocate more dollars to their advertising budgets as the effects of the new News Feed start to trickle in. We may have to wait and see how this piece unfolds.
While this announcement has ruffled a lot of feathers in the marketing world, it may be a matter of just sitting back to see how this will truly affect Pages and their overall efforts moving forward. Are we a fan of the changes? Only time will tell.