Understanding Facebook’s 2018 News Feed Update

December 6, 2017 Sarah Chapman

Facebook Newsfeed Update

As you may have seen a couple of weeks ago, Facebook announced some changes to the way they will choose what posts to show in a users News Feed with a piece titled News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together.

With these changes, the central idea is to improve the user experience on Facebook by showing users more posts from family and friends, increase social engagement between them, and show fewer posts from publishers and brands.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, provided a bit more detail in a Facebook post stating that “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good…we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. 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.”

Brands and publishers reactions to the news have been mixed as this is not the first time that Facebook has announced such a change, and in fact, organic reach from brands has been on the decline for several years.

While this change impacts organic Facebook directly and not paid advertisers, these updates may have an indirect impact on the paid advertising landscape as well. Possible outcomes include more demand for Facebook paid News Feed ads, and an increase in available inventory as users spend more time in their News Feeds.

Zuckerberg commented on the predicted outcome of the update stating “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

To maintain the highest possible reach for your page, we recommend ensuring that your organic Facebook content is in line with these updates.

Facebook’s announcement indicated that they will favor:

  1. Posts that encourage engagement among users
  2. Live video (not pre-recorded)
  3. High-quality content (helpful, educational, or entertaining)

Exactly what to do next, will depend on how much these changes impact individual brands and publishers. On the paid advertising side, we will be keeping a close eye on costs of inventory and changes in key performance metrics.

Taking a step back, we see the continual focus on improving user experience on Facebook is ultimately a positive thing.