We’ve all been there, scrolling through your News Feed on Facebook. Meme after meme, followed by a video of a dog singing, then someone drinking a pint in two seconds flat. It almost seems a surprise to finally stumble across some recently uploaded photos from a friend you haven’t seen in years.
To be honest, I’d rather watch a funny video than a personal post. However, it seems Facebook would disagree.
So, what happened?
On Thursday, Facebook announced an algorithm update that will change what type of content is more prominent on your News Feed. Facebook wants to provide a quality experience, encourage more meaningful interactions between friends and generally promote users’ well-being.
In Zuckerberg’s own words:
“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
What are the implications?
Content publishers will see a decrease in organic reach, as posts which would once have been high on Facebook’s priorities are demoted, and friends’ posts will be endorsed. This follows an update released in December, which saw ‘Engagement Bait’ (explicitly asking users to like, share, comment) posts demoted.
Zuckerberg has made it clear that he does not want to put publishers off from creating content, he just wants to make sure all content is meaningful. If your current posts are high quality, stimulate conversation and prompt comments then you will feel the effects far less.
This change will not affect Facebook paid ads directly. However, CPC’s may rise slightly as a result of users scrolling less on their News Feed. But, in terms of how ad rank is calculated, there will be no change.
Are there ways around it?
As organic posts become less prevalent, other channels on Facebook become more important:
- The new update favours Facebook live videos, as live videos stimulate up to six times as many interactions as normal videos
- It’s recommended to increase your ad budget, as targeting the right audience with paid ads will combat any loss in organic reach
- Messenger ads and Instagram will be unaffected by the change at this stage, so it’s worth testing these placements instead
- It’s also recommended to engage customers within Facebook groups, as these are an effective method of stimulating conversation on posts
There are more updates to come from Facebook that will specify the finer details of the algorithm change. It all may sound a little scary, but if you are already providing your customers with a meaningful experience through content, then the effects should be minimal.
If you would like any more information about the potential effects of this update then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.