Facebook recently announced a new change in its algorithm that will affect what users see on their News Feed. The algorithm will refocus attention on posts from family and friends, and will show fewer posts from businesses and news media publishers. This change addresses the issue of many Facebook users who worry about missing important posts from their closest contacts.. While Facebook’s News Feed is ever evolving, the changes align with the News Feed core values, the most important one being that friends and family come first. The remaining four values – are Facebook is a platform for all ideas, Facebook users receive authentic communication, users have the ability to control their experience, and users receive constant iteration from the team working at Facebook – are still important to how they do business and engage users
The new algorithm change can be viewed as an improvement for those using the platform for personal reasons, but it won’t have the same effect for businesses and news media publishers.
Businesses and publishers who rely heavily on Facebook promoting their pages are expected to see a decline in reach and referral traffic to their pages. In this respect, every business is different and all won’t be affected in the same manner. The silver lining in the algorithm change is that all posts from businesses won’t be banished from the News Feed; it all depends on whether or not Facebook users are interacting with the content that these pages produce.
Forbes uses itself as an example of the effects of the algorithm change. In a recent article, Forbes predicts that it won’t be severely impacted by the new algorithm because the majority of its reach and referral traffic comes from Facebook users who share or post their content. Business and news media pages who don’t see the same type of interaction that Forbes does will most certainly see a decline in how many people visit their pages. A New York Times article highlighted one of the reasons why news media publishers specifically turned to Facebook in the first place: publishers who had difficulty attracting readers and online advertising dollars saw Facebook as the solution to that problem. However, the new algorithm is indicative of how Facebook values businesses and news media publishers in the grand scheme of things.
News media publishers have grown to become dependent on Facebook, and prioritize the platform more than the platform prioritizes them. The new algorithm demonstrates that Facebook prioritizes its users above anything else, and that it will make necessary changes to keep users logged onto the platform. The algorithm change also calls attention to how publishers and businesses will continue to use the platform in the future. What is the remedy for publishers and businesses who are negatively affected by the algorithm change? One such solution could be paying Facebook for more advertising as a way of regaining the reach and referral traffic that these companies used to get for free. A second solution could be producing content that audiences are more likely to share and post about (which could only be an additional problem for some companies instead of a solution if they don’t have the capacity to create content or management engagement).
What advice would you offer to companies who are negatively affected by Facebook’s new algorithm? Sound off in the comments below.