New Changes to the Facebook News Feed
This week, Facebook announced that it’s tweaking its News Feed algorithm so that users see fewer posts from publishers and brands and more posts from friends and family.
Facebook is, in its DNA, a personal social sharing community and their goal in making these tweaks – “[to keep] you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook” – makes sense. I like my friends (mostly) and find Facebook to be a useful place for seeing what the people I’ve known over the years are up to and an interesting source of articles that my personal and professional network recommends.
In fact, as the chart below shows, over 40% of adults rely on Facebook for news, versus only 10% on Twitter.
There are some challenges and concerns, however, with this algorithmic shift. As Chris Cillizza writes in the Washington Post:
Prioritizing news content based on what your friends like or share furthers the siloing of our news consumption. The people you are friends with on Facebook are, in 99 out of 100 cases these days, people with whom you share a common worldview. The news stories you share with one another — particularly as they relate to politics — are much more likely to affirm your point of view than question it in any meaningful way.
The practical challenge for brands, organizations and news publications themselves is that, once again, Facebook is pushing their posts to the bottom of the feed. This puts extra pressure on page managers to create posts that are deemed “engaging,” because the more likes, shares, video views etc. that a post generates, the more play it gets in a user’s News Feed.
At the same time, the only way to guarantee eyeballs on official page posts – even amongst your followers – is to dedicate ad dollars to boosting content. Facebook’s audience is massive, but it is simply no longer enough to “post something to social” and assume people will see it. Pages must now prioritize strategically getting the right content in front of the right people, a process that is aided by Facebook’s robust ad targeting capabilities.
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