Facebook is at it again - changing their newsfeed to favor friends & family over publishers

Facebook is at it again - changing their newsfeed to favor friends & family over publishers

Facebook is continually tweaking their algorithms to improve their service. But the changes presented as a way to improve their user experience are generally unfavorable for the publishers they’ve courted aggressively. And under the surface the users also lose out.

Publishers are again left wondering what it all means

If you’re a business, a publisher, or even a user who has worked hard to grow a following, you’re left bewildered as to the fallout from this recent change. Friends and family posts and shared and liked posts will float to the top of a user’s news feed. So where does that leave published content? Is this a means to coerce publishers into more post promotion and advertising? Will it translate into publishers pushing out more “shareable” content and “clickbait” style posts?

Users will be silo’d into similar content

Not that this trend is new, but now your content will be even more filtered by Facebook’s algorithms. What you like, share, and what your friends and family share and like will hold more sway over your feed. Slowly but surely, contrary opinion or thought will be supplanted by like-minded “posts”. And what happens to the “brands” and “published content” you’ve actually liked because you want to receive posts? Will your local library’s updates be swept out of your newsfeed? Will the news sources you visit slowly disappear too? Time will tell.

But what’s inevitable is that Facebook will slurp up more user data. This in turn will be used to cajole publishers into spending more on targeted advertising in an effort to keep eyeballs on their content and streaming to their websites.

It’s a catch 22 scenario

Most publishers and businesses rely on social media to varying degrees to bring traffic to their sites. It had been a low-cost method to obtain visitors and to gain reach among an audience. But now as organic reach is diminished again - will small and mid-size businesses continue to invest in social media? Or will they simply shift content generation into advertising spending?

Don’t rely on the kindness of others

Building a house on your neighbor’s property is never a good idea. Nor is it wise to build on shifting sands. It’s why we advise our business clients to create content on their sites first and then share it via social media – so it lives on in perpetuity. Of course, as sharing content via social continues to wane in effective organic reach - alternatives will need to be explored. It’s simply par for the course nowadays - you have to keep adapting strategies to keep up with the changing times.

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Jun 29, 2016
By: William Levins


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