In a post on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook’s news feed. Controversially, the changes will see the News Feed algorithm favour person to person interaction over brands marketing, accounts for video sharing and sponsored content.
The changes are receiving mixed reactions across a range of users. Naturally those of us that have marketing campaigns that rely heavily on Facebook, and brands pouring money into being seen in their target audiences’ feeds are reeling from the news. There is great fear in how this is going to impact them and their business.
However, Zuckerberg confirmed that their motivation for this change was user wellbeing. He referred to the start of Facebook and its intention being to allow people to stay connected and bring all of the people that matter most to people together. Feedback from the Facebook community suggested to the team at Facebook that this intention had been lost along the way, and instead the platform was becoming overwhelmed by media, advertisements and irrelevant content.
Facebook has confirmed that this will likely cause people to spend less time on the site, but claim they would rather do the right thing as it will be good for their community which in turn is better for the business longer term.
For the impact on business, many are saying that this may well be the wake-up call marketing teams need. This idea behind these changes focuses on quality conversation and interaction between people. Therefore, brands will now have to focus on the quality of their content and how to best engage their audience, as opposed to how to get the most people to see their posts.
For the user, hopefully this means less aimless scrolling through a raft of irrelevant videos, sponsored posts and the occasional profile picture update and more of the human to human communication and healthy conversation that we remember for days gone by.
We are eager to see the algorithm in practice and will be keeping our ears to the ground to see how this evolution affects business users.
See Mark Zuckerberg’s post here.