Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off some big changes to the News Feed. Social media managers, marketers, and enthusiasts alike stood in awe of the changes and brand-spanking new layout. So what exactly is gonna happen and how?
Become the editor
You (yes, you) get to decide what you want to see and what you don’t. News Feed will have different settings or ‘feeds’ from which users can choose, each with a specific target of content. A feed for only the content posted by friends, a feed for pages, a feed for photos, etc. While this seems to be a step into a more customized user interface, there will probably be some tweaks here and there after it’s implemented.
The friend-ship sets sail friendship
All aboard! Since Facebook exists for socialization, the News Feed is also being tailored to show users the activity of friends in a simpler, more accessible format. Not only that, your friend feed will show more of each person’s info, taken directly from their profile. But worry not, if you have the sort of friends who like 800 pages a day, there’s likely to be a way to customize the feed even more.
That’s what I’m calling it, and who knows, maybe it’ll catch on. As Zuckerberg put it (and I’m paraphrasing), following the success of sites like Pinterest and Instagram, Facebook says visual media like pictures and videos are going to be more prominently displayed. So if you’re posting text, prepare to go unnoticed. Not only will visual posts be displayed with a higher priority, they’re gonna be a lot bigger!
You’re invited to the (3rd) party!
Similarly to the push towards visual content, Facebook is concentrating on third party activity. If you have your Facebook linked to another platform, your activities outside of Facebook will be heavily displayed.
This is good news for people who like to socialize with their friends over different sites. It’s especially good for marketers like me, who are integrating different accounts which include Facebook. But again, whether or not the content between third party, images, videos, friends, and pages will be well-balanced remains to be seen.
Articles on the ‘front page’
Just as with images and videos, popular articles are going to be more prominently displayed. The algorithm for how ‘popularity’ will be determined is still anyone’s guess, but it seems that the more an article is shared in general, the more likely it is to show up on your News Feed. The current algorithm combines that of general popularity and the user’s friends, so we’ll probably be seeing that too.
What does this mean for pages?
In a nutshell, it means that pages and brands are gonna have to work much harder to get noticed on Facebook. Because users will now have the option to pretty much entirely turn off seeing pages in their feed, the best chance for companies and brands to move into the spotlight is through a user’s friends. Anytime someone likes or otherwise interacts with a page, it’ll be shown on the feed via that friend. So marketers and social media gurus will have to really pump up the quality of content.
As a marketer, I know I’ll have to start creating more powerful and enticing content. I already incorporate visuals into most – if not all of my content for Lumina. But even I know in the coming weeks that stepping up my game is going to be necessary. If you want to know how to create great content, I hope that’ll be helpful to you.
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