What Does Facebook’s News Feed Change Mean for Your Business?
The change in Facebook’s news feeds revolves around the social media giant’s intention to supply less news from the world of business, entertainment, and publishers, while focusing more on the kind of meaningful exchanges which users might have with family and friends. The motivation behind this paradigm shift is apparently CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s change of heart about how Facebook may have been negatively impacting its legions of followers.
The kind of malicious or abusive content supplied by other contentious nations and groups will be targeted in particular, with greater attention to be paid to those who misuse the tools and benefits provided by the social medium. Facing a storm of recent backlash over this kind of meddling and interference, Facebook is apparently choosing to proactively make these changes, rather than having them enforced through regulatory means.
Impact on businesses
Facebook executives fully expect this shift toward more friendly user engagement and less business-sponsored involvement to result in reduced user involvement, at least temporarily. The hope is that after the initial shift impact is over, Facebook users will be happier with the new format, and will return to spending more time online. In the short term however, it will impact publishers and businesses because there is likely to be a diminished audience receiving their notifications and ads, at no cost and via the easiest delivery approach imaginable.
Those businesses and publishers which count on Facebook as their primary delivery method are likely to be the ones who feel the greatest impact, along with those which have made huge investments on developing Facebook videos for mass consumption. With far fewer of these being displayed, the audience for all those messages simply won’t be there anymore, at least not in the numbers that companies have grown accustomed to.
The Facebook Goal
The goal of these coming changes is to make Facebook users happier, according to Mr. Zuckerberg, and not as argumentative about all the material which has been allowed through in the past. Assuming that users will be ‘happier’ because they are exposed to fewer opposing views (from ‘meddlers’ and interfering parties), the expectation is that Facebook users will make more real friends, and interact benignly with them.
Since the company’s research has shown that Facebook users have been exposed to far more diverse opinions within the medium than they otherwise would have been, it is thought that reducing this divergence of opinion will make for more contented users. Interestingly, the company’s own research has also shown that the format changes are likely to result in reduced participation of users. Part of that has to do with the fact that the number of video productions will be decreased, and everyone knows how effective video has been at retaining user interest and engagement.
A Happier Facebook
Will users really be happier on Facebook when there are less business ads and videos, and more happy posts from friends and relatives? While no one can really know for sure, Facebook execs are confident that even if there is a short-term lapse in user involvement and engagement, that the new-look happy medium will eventually win over former users as well as newcomers, and that the entire community will continue to grow again. Business executives and publishing companies however, would be well advised to begin pursuing other alternatives in their marketing campaigns.
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