Facebook Inc.’s latest change to its news feed aims to ensure consumers won’t miss friends’ posts. But as the social network increases the likelihood a consumer will see his friends’ photos, videos, status updates and links, it may reduce the reach of some retailers and other businesses’ posts.
“Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family,” writes Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president, product management, news feed, in a blog post. “Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to—starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period— you just have to scroll down.”
Mosseri writes the news feed aims to inform and entertain users. It adjusts the posts consumers see based on the posts they respond to. That means that if one consumer views more photos than another user the photo-inclined user will see more photos in his feed. Even so, the social network does prioritize some types of content. For instance, in March it adjusted the algorithm that determines what users see in their news feed to prioritize live videos.
But as the social network allocates more real estate to its users’ friends’ posts, retailers and other businesses may experience a decline in the reach of their organic posts, Mosseri writes.
“We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some pages,” Facebook writes in a blog post. “The specific impact on your page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through page posts. We encourage pages to post things that their audience [is] likely to share with their friends.”
Of course, one way retailers and other businesses can ensure that consumers see their posts is to buy ads. Facebook’s evolution into a pay-to-play platform helped it generate $5.201 billion in advertising revenue in the first quarter, a 56.8% increase compared with $3.317 billion a year earlier.Favorite