On January 11th , Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would be making major changes to users’ News Feeds. While he has grand desires of bringing the world together through focusing on making sure posts that spark conversation and meaningful interaction find an audience, it’s highly unlikely that’s going to happen. Zuckerberg also says that users will “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” which is the part of his open letter that scares digital marketers and may have a real impact on businesses that advertise on Facebook.
Currently, there’s no reason to panic because some users are experiencing the exact opposite of what Zuckerberg promised. So far, the less page and branded content doesn’t seem to have gone into effect. Right now, it appears that Facebook made a change that resulted in my News Feed and other users News Feeds becoming 99 percent groups, ads, and brand pages. This was not something that we experienced before yesterday. Hopefully, Facebook goes through with Zuckerberg’s promises of putting more posts from friends in a user’s News Feed. Because, while users don’t mind seeing the occasional ad, an entire News Feed of branded content is maddening and will turn a lot of users off.
On the other hand, Facebook does have to keep major brands and local businesses happy to keep the advertising dollars flowing. Because no one is sure what’s going on, digital marketing experts predict that it may become more expensive to advertise on Facebook. The theory goes that if fewer Pages’ posts are showing up in users’ News Feeds, there are going to be more companies bidding on the limited amount of advertising space available in those users’ News Feeds. This just compounds the fact that Facebook had already announced its intentions to make it harder for Pages’ to organically reach users.
While we wait Facebook out, it’s best to reevaluate your social media strategy. Facebook is not the only social media platform with a large audience and you may be so focused on Facebook that you are neglecting Instagram and Snapchat.
Update: A few hours after posting this, News Feeds returned to normal.