Facebook News Feed Changes Will Challenge Publishers To Stay Relevant

Posted January 16, 2018

Facebook is changing its news feed to show fewer posts from businesses and more posts from family and friends, leaving some DE marketing professionals wondering what they'll need to do to continue reaching people on social media.

Facebook says it will prioritize what users' friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands. "Not only will you be more effective, you will achieve greater reach at a lower cost", he said, adding that less inventory could see the cost of advertising on Facebook go up.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the shift in the configuration of the News Feed on Thursday, saying it would reduce engagement by users at first but would lead to their improved "well-being". "We believe these changes will be beneficial to Facebook in the medium and long term", said Brian Weiser of the Pivotal Research Group. A different byproduct of this is that Facebook can now make a bigger push for Watch, its original video content platform, where it has more control over the kind of stuff its users are viewing.

According to Zuckerberg, the time spent on Facebook will go down, but "will be more valuable".

Facebook has always been criticized for creating "filter bubbles", the echo chambers of friends and like-minded people whose views are reinforced by their friends' posts on the platform.

While he acknowledges Facebook never may be completely free of malign influences, Zuckerberg said the company now makes "too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing the misuse of our tools".

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But as Facebook began to monetize its user base more aggressively, feeds from advertisers began rising while those from friends were reduced. The platform thinks it's up to you to make friends with people who don't think like you, so that your News Feed will reflect a range of views. This isn't because of something that A Little Bit of Stone (ALBOS) has done, it's because of a Facebook algorithm change (the bit that decides what you see).

Zuckerberg said in a live video on September 21: "I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity".

Facebook is changing its news feed to keep it relevant and useful for users and forcing publishers into helping achieve that.

For users, the changes may mean that Facebook becomes more like a gathering of friends and family.

In our conversation, [VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri] cited Oprah's recent Golden Globes speech as content that would fare better in the revamped feed. That has enabled the platform to quickly acquire hundreds of millions of users. It will happen again and again until Facebook takes aggressive action.

"This change does not mean business pages will not be in the newsfeed outright". Facebook told the Times that its News Feed research and updates were, in part, responses to public criticism that it too readily allowed false information to circulate, unchecked. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to - whether that's a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.

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