Facebook have announced the latest shake-up with its news feed algorithm. The social media giant will now give priority to posts from friends and family over news articles from publishers in order to create a more personalised user experience.
According to Adam Mosseri, Product Manager of Facebook’s News Feed team, the latest tweak followed the discovery that users felt posts from friends were being “drowned out” by publishers. Facebook has become a digital newspaper for many users, who spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the social network. As a result, publishers often post hundreds of items a day flooding the news feed. Friends, by contrast, post just a few times a week, Mr. Mosseri said.
How will this change affect brands? Facebook expects the update to result in a decline in reach and referral traffic for some publishers. However, the company noted that if most of a page’s traffic is driven by users sharing the page’s content, they will experience less of a traffic dip than those whose views come directly from page posts. Thankfully, sponsored posts are treated separately and this change won’t influence how often advertisements are seen by the target audience.
As an agency, we will be keeping a close eye on how this restructure impacts our brand’s relevancy scores. At this time, New Beach Media are still seeing strong levels of engagement for our clients as we focus on delivering compelling content which is highly shareable. Perhaps, we can use this change to our advantage by continuing to share inspirational, informative and entertaining stories with our fans and in turn, drowning out the disingenuous clickbait so often posted by publishers. Moving forward, the key to maintaining high levels of reach and engagement is through authentic, meaningful communication which resonates with the audience.