What happened to Facebook?
It seems Facebook have realised they have gone too far. Having moved steadily away from showing posts from your friends and family, the news feed has gradually become just that – a place where people go to read the news (or try to – whilst being bombarded by ads). Facebook have moved so far away from their origins, that the way people use the platform has changed. Revenue is up, but engagement is down.
What are Facebook about to change?
We’ve become used to our Facebook news feed being filled with general news and branded content from businesses. In an about-turn, Facebook have announced their intention to return to more ‘meaningful interactions’ with the people you know.
Why is the Facebook news feed changing?
According to Zuckerberg, their research has revealed that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to connect with people we care about.
We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.
Passive social media is out – community based interaction is in.
How will these changes affect my business?
As a result of these changes, your business page may see a decrease in reach and referral traffic. The extent to which is unknown, but we do know that factors that will affect this include the type of content you produce and how people interact with it. At the moment it’s looking like publishers will be hit pretty hard. Business pages creating posts that people don’t react to or comment on will likely be hit the hardest. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will be looked on favourably. Basically, businesses who encourage more meaningful interactions themselves, will have good standing.
How will the new Facebook feed affect users?
The Facebook app now has two news feed options, the original ‘News Feed’ that we know and love/hate, and the newly minted ‘Explore Feed’. Whilst the original News Feed will still have paid advertisements, they will be limited, with the majority of business/brand-related posts moving to the Explore Feed. Arguably a better user experience, allowing the user more control over what they see and when. This will free up space in the News Feed for content from your friends and family – people you actually know.
What I can I do to protect my business?
Well, time will tell. But in the short term:
- Engaging Video – make more of it, make it interesting.
- Quality Content – be sure to produce content that is relevant to your audience and engaging.
- Be genuine – no click bate.
At time of writing, it’s still early days. We have a good idea of the changes Facebook intend to implement, but at this stage, can only speculate as to how will affect different businesses. In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction, before the house of cards come crashing down and your Facebook spend gets you nothing. Who doesn’t want to read more good quality, engaging content and see more pictures of your friends dog eating Christmas dinner?!