Facebook’s newsfeed is getting a slight brush-up, and whilst some forward-thinking brands may delight in the latest news, others are less inclined to whoop-and-holler
Many of the current head-honchos who have been taking up the majority of space on our news feed (especially news publishers) are in for a shock over the next coming weeks because Facebook has just announced three big changes that are being introduced to its NewsFeed algorithm – changes that could bring some brands’ “traffic glory days” to an abrupt end.
Here we outline what the changes are, and what they’ll mean to you:
1) The first change aims to improve the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see.
Previously, seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row was prohibited but now Facebook says it’s “relaxing this rule” so that users who don’t see much content in their feeds, or who run out of content, can start seeing more.
2) Facebook will begin hiding posts that say what your friends have liked or commented on
This update refers to the interactions that your friends have with a post. Because people have complained about seeing stories purely because their friends have liked/ commented on a post, those stories will now be placed lower in the News Feed or not at all. This is an example of a post that you will see less of:
3) Facebook will start prioritizing NewsFeed content posted by friends
According to Facebook, the last update “tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it”. This is brilliant news for brands who have already realised the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing on social media, and have been proactive in their attempts to get customers checking in to their business, and posting status updates/ uploading photos of their positive experiences with the brand. Whilst this kind of user-generated content was always desirable, the latest Facebook algorithm changes mean that it should be top of every marketer’s to-do list!
What marketers need to know is that Facebook wants to show users the content that they are actually interested in, or the content that brands have paid for. Because people are mostly interested in what their friends and family are saying and doing, the majority of users will now start seeing these posts more and brands’ posts less. The way we see it, brands have two choices: either they can pay to get their posts seen or they can get their customers posting about the brand on their personal profile pages, whether that be organically or through incentives (e.g. social rewards).