As we know by now, Facebook is constantly updating the services they offer, their design, and of course, their news feed algorithm. Last week, on April 21, 2015, Facebook announced three updates coming to your news feed.
1. The Longer News Feed
The Update: In the past, Facebook worked hard to prevent multiple posts from the same source showing up consecutively in one’s news feed. For those with fewer friends, this could mean a truncated news feed. However, Facebook has recently relaxed this measure so that those seeking for more content get it. Now multiple posts from the same source can show up in one’s news feed.
The Effect: This algorithm update should have a minimal effect on users and brands. Personally, you may just see more posts from the same user.
2. Emphasis on Close Friends’ Updates
The Update: Facebook is working to give you exactly what you want, and that means more updates from your close friends and less from acquaintances and brands. According to Facebook, this update “tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it”. With this update they are really trying to tailor your news feed to your personal interests.
The Effect: Personally, this can be a really good thing. After all, you are probably more interested in seeing your brother’s photos of his children and your best friend’s blog posts than the cranky status update from that high school friend you haven’t talked to in years. However, if you are a brand, this could be the beginning of the end. Working to stay relevant in your followers’ news feeds is harder than ever and competing with their close friends and family is becoming a real challenge.
3. De-emphasis on Friends’ Favorite Posts
The Update: Previously, we have seen our news feeds cluttered with posts that our friends like and comment on. Well the people have spoken and Facebook was listening and this update will make these stories appear lower in the feed or not at all.
The Effect: On a personal level, this is probably a good thing. Consistently seeing updates from brands and pages you never liked and people you have never heard of was probably becoming tedious. Yet, Social Media Today points out that this update “underlines the fact that ‘likes’, in themselves, are becoming little more than an aesthetic measure - and worse, that even interactions like comments aren't necessarily going to increase your post reach.” As a brand you may find that likes and comments mean less than they did in the past and that your posts are less likely to be shown to new prospects in their news feeds. The takeaway: work to get more shares!
If you need assistance with managing your brand’s Facebook page, contact Informatics. And stay up to date on these ongoing changes by visiting our blog regularly and connecting with us on social media!