Facebook announces changes to News Feed

by | Jul 5, 2016

Last week Facebook announced that it is changing its News Feed algorithm so that content posted by your friends and family will appear more prominently in your feed.

Since Facebook launched News Feed back in 2006 there have been over a billion new users to the channel. We’re spending longer and longer on social media each day, checking out content not just from family and friends but also our favourite sports teams, retailers and brands, which means that every day there is far more posted on our News Feed than we can ever consume. Time Magazine has described it as ‘the most valuable billboard on earth’ and getting it spot on for everyone is an ongoing process for Facebook as they try to give us the right mix of updates from friends and public figures, publishers, businesses and community organisations we are connected to.

(If you are interested in how Facebook actually do this, check out this article from Time Magazine)

In an article last week, referring to its guiding News Feed values, Facebook explains that first and foremost, it wants you to see what you care about – your friends and family. They also want users to be both informed and entertained by the content they see and brands in particular should be mindful of this when creating content for Facebook.

So, in what many are seeing as a blow to publishers (who have spent years building their audiences to in turn build traffic and revenue) expect to see more posts of babies, weddings, pets and less news.

This update will affect all types of content posted by brands and publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos and is likely to mean that content posted by brands and publishers will show up less prominently in News Feeds.

In their article, Facebook explained that the impact of the update will depend on the composition of your audience or the way in which your content is shared on Facebook. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts so finding new and innovative ways to amplify brand content will become increasingly important.