Following Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to once again change the inner workings of the Facebook news feed, the real impact of the newsfeed algorithm change is becoming clearer.
Initially, publishers and advertisers alike were thrown into a panic by assuming the change meant the end times had come and we were all doomed. As it happens, this has been predicted a few times before following algorithm changes and has never actually come to pass.
In essence, by reprogramming the Newsfeed to prioritise posts on which people feel compelled to interact in a rich way, Facebook have forced publishers and advertisers to create more engaging content. Failure to do so will result in less visibility, less engagement and ultimately less sales.
As Zuckerberg put it “We’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” Facebook by definition is a social network, social first is part of their mission statement, priority should always have been with the most engaging content form family and friends.
While the change isn’t the best thing in the world for anyone used to publishing branded content, there is an upside; content from brands, like click-bait and engagement-bait will become a thing of the past, meaning that once again content will be king. Truly engaging content is not as wholesome as you might imagine, so the need to curtail ‘fake news’ and misleading information is now more vital than ever.
To this end Facebook will be putting more pressure on misleading sites and giving more favour to legitimate news outlets.
The elaborate criteria by which our content is to be judged is still taking shape in the mind’s eye of the digital publishing community, but it is pretty safe to say if you’re consistently publishing interesting and original content, then you’re going to be fine. Facebook are not looking to poison the advertising money well, they are aiming to improve the user experience which in turn will lead to more effective content marketing.
We are speaking directly with Facebook to fine-tune how the update changes our campaigns and strategies with advice straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth.
Keep tuned for more updates.