Facebook drastically alters newsfeed to prioritise ‘meaningful interactions’ over branded content
Plans to drastically change Facebook’s algorithm means branded content from business accounts will appear less frequently on user news feeds.
In a statement, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced content that encouraged interactions between family and friends would take priority over branded content.
“The first changes you'll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups,” said Zuckerberg.
“As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.
He added that posts from these sources were “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other” and that the move resulted from extensive research into community behaviour.
Branded content engagement already on the decline
Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook had already been implementing the changes during 2017, which correlates with separate research revealing engagement on posts fell by 20% for brands and publishers last year.
But he assured users that the same quality would be upheld across the network, which would encourage more "meaningful interactions between people".
Although the changes are likely to be welcomed by the average consumer, businesses will be wondering how the move will affect their activity and spread of social media spend.
For B2B brands, Facebook is widely regarded as one of the big players in the social media marketing game, and was actually revealed as the number one platform for B2B decision-makers seeking thought leadership content in 2016, edging out rivals LinkedIn and Twitter.
The negative impact of this move on marketers remains to be seen, but Zuckerberg assured businesses this change would be a good thing for businesses too, in the long term.
At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections,” he concluded. “By focusing on bringing people closer together -- whether it's with family and friends, or around important moments in the world -- we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
The changes will take effect over the coming weeks.
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