In a Facebook post last week, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, made an announcement about some important changes in the social networking site's news feed. He informed that the company would now adopt a new algorithm, which would give priority to personal over public content such as posts from businesses and publications. So, now a user would first see updates from his friends and family on his new feed, while posts from businesses and publishers would appear later. While the move is certainly user-friendly, it would impact brands and publishers adversely. Here are some ways in which this development would impact the company, its users and other communities present on it.
As Zuckerberg wrote on his post, the users of the social networking site have recently complained about the crowding of public content on social media and less personal content. The networking site, which has over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, gained popularity amongst audiences for the opportunities of social interaction it presented to its users on Internet. However, with growing popularity, it also became a favourite of brands, who use the site for advertising and generating user data. But now the crowding of brands on the site has driven away users from the site. "Most people are using Facebook less because from being a personal space it has become a content, brand led invasion of privacy. We have so much data there and brands are constantly looking at advertising on the basis of the target audience's demographics that is available," says Zafar Rais, Founder, Mindshift Interactive, a digital marketing agency. The recent move is therefore expected to bring back to the site more users as well as the ones who had stopped using it.
2. Brands and publishers:
According to Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst, Devices and Analytics at Counterpoint Research, the move would affect the small businesses which don't have budget to put their content out to the user as many of them have been dependent on Facebook to grow their traffic and drive sales. The move would bring down reach, video watch time and referral traffic of brands, says Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO & Co-Founder, Gozoop, and traffic from news feeds to blog posts will decrease sharply. Hence, according to the digital experts there is a need for brands and publishers to revisit their Facebook strategies as the move would bring down their organic traffic on the site drastically.
According to most experts, the move is going to benefit the social media company in the long run. The overall user engagement would improve as the company starts rolling out the new changes, says Naiya, and the businesses too, in the long term, may think of investing in advertisements, boosting the overall ad revenue for Facebook.