Facebook’s Algorithm: 3 Must-Know Changes
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recently announced changes to the company’s news feed have the potential to dramatically affect how people interact on the social network. Over the next few weeks, Facebook’s news feed will start showing fewer news articles, and less marketing content and ads, Zuckerberg wrote. Instead, users should start seeing more vacation videos from their friends, photos of their nephew’s college graduation, and other more family-friendly posts about the people they know. It’s a major change for Facebook, which over the years has shifted from being a social networking service connecting friends and family to one of the world’s biggest distributors of news and online ads. Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s big news feed change:
- Facebook will be prioritizing news from trustworthy sources, news that is informative, and news that is relevant to one’s local community. According to Mark Zuckerberg, “news will always be a critical way for people to start conversations on important topics”. So the team at Facebook is making another major update to make sure that news on the News Feed is of high quality. Specifically, they will be prioritizing the following types of news:
- News from publications that the community rates as trustworthy
- News that people find informative
- News that is relevant to people’s local community
Facebook has been surveying users to help determine the trustworthiness of publications and informativeness of news.
- In this newest update, Publishers and marketers may find themselves rethinking their social strategy or scale it back altogether. Mark Zuckerberg stated, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” His statement coincides with this new update that will diminish posts from brands, publishers, marketers, and news stories. Facebook is concerned about providing a quality experience that will promote a user’s well-being. Their studies have shown that genuine interactions between friends is what promotes a strong well-being. Publishers and marketers should look to create posts that will generate back-and-forth discussion among Facebook users, such as Oprah’s recent speech at the Golden Globes or local events that may excite a community.
- Messenger Ads are now Available Worldwide. Initially tested in Australia and Thailand, brands can now reach Facebook users (all 10 billion of them!) directly through their Facebook messenger app. These ads will appear in a user’s inbox, according to Facebook, based on “how many threads a user has, the size of their phone’s physical screen and the pixel density of the display.” Messenger ads come with a “sponsored” label in the home tab of the Messenger app. They are formatted to look like a typical newsfeed ad, including the headline, copy, image, and calls to action. Users can then click through to any website or destination you select when setting up the promotion. If you’re on the receiving side of a Messenger ad, there’s no way to permanently turn off ads, but a user can tap the downward arrow in the bottom right of an ad and see options to report or hide it.
One of the most important thing, marketers must do is stay up-to-date with every algorithm change. What worked in the past does not necessarily work now, and what works now may not work in the future. Stay current on how social media evolves and be prepared to evolve with it.