What changes are coming to Facebook?

Facebook Changes Algorithm Favors Friends Over Brands

In response to complaints of news feeds being littered by ads, Facebook has decided to rework its algorithm. From now on, users will see more content from their friends and family, and less content from brands and publishers.

Why is Facebook changing its algorithm?

Facebook’s vision has always been to connect you “to the people, places, and things you want to be connected to.” Facebook already had plans underway to update the news feed since last year. After conducting surveys with Facebook users, they found that pages were starting to feel more promotional than personal.

According to the surveyed users, there are three traits that make a post feel too promotional:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

And it’s easy to see why- users have the ability to control how they view Facebook Ads, from a limit to the number of ads seen, to what kind of ads are shown. But pages aren’t controlled in the same way. This will change over the coming weeks.

How will this affect my Facebook Page?

If you own a Facebook page and use it for personal or recreational use, without any intention of making any money, then these changes might not affect you as much.

If you own a Facebook page and use it for promotional purposes (advertising or selling a product or service), then your strategy will have to change. If Facebook is cracking down on promotional posts, your goal will have to be to create high quality content.

The Need for Better Content

We’ve talked about the importance of content marketing before, but in the developing Facebook landscape, it will become more important than ever before. Publishers and brands will have to develop content that resonate with Facebook users, and pages that people will want to like and share with their friends. Posting on a consistent basis, targeting by specific audiences, and using more photos and videos are just a few ways you can engage more users.

To find more suggestions on how to create stronger business pages, check out Facebook’s post here.

The Rise of Paid Ads

Although Facebook Ads are relatively affordable now, that could change with the recent shift in strategy. We may soon start seeing people advertise more, which could increase the cost. Publishers looking to make sure their content is prominent in their audiences’ feeds need to either create higher quality content or pay for premium spots.

Instant Articles, Livestreaming, and Unanswered Questions

Of course, Facebook’s updated algorithm still leaves a couple questions unanswered. How will this affect Instant Articles? In the past few months, Facebook has been pushing Instant Articles as the next wave of publishing- a quick, responsive approach to articles and blogs. If publishers are getting pushed down on the news feed, will it be as popular as promised?

And what about other types of media, such as videos, images, or the newly added livestreams? It’s unclear whether Facebook perceives these types of content as ads, and if so, what the specific criteria for that may be.

Your best bet will be to stick with Facebook, but to understand and plan for the changes ahead. Make sure the content is made to be clicked on and re-shared. Paid ads will also become more important in the battle for visibility. Social networks are constantly changing, and the best you can do is to adapt.