Facebook has been a place for people to catch up with their friends, celebrity posts and news from several publishers. These are presented algorithmically and are random in nature.
This means Facebook gets to decide through their algorithm what you see on your feed and they continuously tweak it for a certain goal. We’ve seen them tweak the algorithm to demote fake news, engagement bait and the likes and now they are doing something that is even more drastic.
Yesterday, Facebook announced that they are making a change to the Newsfeed where they will prioritize posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” and posts from friends and family.
They also said that due to the space in the News Feed being “limited”, this means that they will show less “public content” which includes videos and posts from publishers or businesses. This means that Facebook Pages will see their reach, referral traffic and video watch time decline.
Facebook says that this effect on Pages will vary from Page to Page due to factors like the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. So generally , those Pages that have posts that people generally don’t react or comment could see the biggest decrease in reach.
You would think that this would lead Pages to use engagement bait to make sure that their posts rank higher in the feed. However since Facebook made the change to prevent such cases from happening, this behaviour coupled with the recent change could lead such content being demoted further.
This move coincides with Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge for the year where he wants to make sure time spent on the social network is “well spent.” This is going to be a tough year for Page Managers and they’ll have to develop new strategies in light of the new changes.