Facebook started 2018 with a big announcement in terms of how they will be changing the news feed. There is plenty of evidence out there that shows that users are not enjoying Facebook as much as they used to. They’re tired of the constant adverts and many are leaving all together. So, in a bid to draw back its user base and to create a happier Facebook, news feed’s will soon be prioritising posts from friends and family over anything else. Will this improve our mental health?
In December, Facebook acknowledged that too much Facebook, or Facebook used badly, is negative for mental well-being, so it’s only right that the company take action. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, stated; "We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being," With this in mind, the news feed change is clearly one of the steps Facebook has put into place to combat criticism and to further increase the value it has to users.
The proposed changes to the Facebook news feed take the platform back to its roots, focusing on human interaction over brand messaging. After all, we originally joined Facebook as a place to stay in touch with friends and family, over the year’s this has been diluted by the increase of branded messaging and advertisement on Facebook.
In addition to the news feed priority changes, we should also be seeing a reduction in spam and fake news content as Facebook continues to clean up our feeds. Naturally, this should see us all experiencing a more authentic stream of content tailored to us. New content guidelines also suggest that anyone looking to publish content with good organic reach on Facebook should be aiming for increasing shares and comments over other metrics.
So, what does this change mean for brands and businesses that rely on Facebook as a customer service and advertising tool? According to Zuckerberg, the change will require publishers to focus on creating more content that “sparks engagement." Brands and businesses will also have to become Facebook Ad savvy to secure their future on the valuable social media platform.
What hasn’t been addressed yet is how the Facebook news feed will impact small business owners and service providers who may have built their incomes on social media referrals and interaction. It’s easy to keep up to date with Facebook Algorithms when you have the budget and people-power, but how will this impact the millions of small businesses who don’t have the spare cash for expensive, skilfully put together advertising campaigns? Don’t panic just yet, Facebook says it will take a few months for the changes to take place, so there’s still time to rethink your 2018 Facebook content strategy.
Need a hand getting your head around the new Facebook algorithm changes? Get in touch to find out how Strawberry Social can help your business or agency with social media.