What do upcoming changes to the Facebook Newsfeed mean for your business?

Upcoming changes to Facebook Newsfeed

At the beginning of the year Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to make some big changes to improve user experience of Facebook:

The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.

Source: Facebook

Last night, Zuckerberg went further, announcing on his Facebook feed that user feedback indicates that people are being overwhelmed by business, media and brand posts and that this is “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Referring to academic research, Zuckerberg says that while personal posts and real connections benefit people, reading articles and watching videos may not.

As a result, the Facebook team is concentrating on updating the News Feed. It will soon start to deliver more content from friends and family, rather than from brand and media channels.

In his post, Zuckerberg predicts that time spent on the platform and engagement would decrease, but would bring long-term benefits to people, communities and businesses in time.

Facebook Newsfeed Changes
Mark Zuckerberg, Extract

 

Facebook & the Big Picture

Facebook is positioning itself as a user-first platform. It aims to regain public trust by limiting the reach of fake news sites and spammy brands.

While Facebook began as a social media platform, it has developed into a fully-fledged marketing platform with a well developed business model. 

Organic reach – or Newsfeed penetration – for business pages has been in decline – dropping 20% in 2017, according to research by BuzzSumo. 

As a result, brands are are spending more on ads; spending grew 23% in the first six months of 2017, reaching $40.1 billion in the U.S. alone.

What might this mean for business?

The Facebook algorithm is now punishing engagement bait, as we outlined in a recent post – 5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018, and is rewarding higher quality and more relevant content.

Zuckerberg’s announcement probably means that only highly engaged fans are likely to see your content in their Newsfeeds, resulting in an even greater push towards sponsored publishing on Facebook.  

We are sure that as the year progresses Business Page reach will fall further and your strategy will have to adapt as a result. Smaller business platforms and media outlets will likely suffer, and those relying on organic reach alone will see a big drop in traffic.

Start strategising your content distribution and think about your budgets accordingly!

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