The ability to prioritise your Facebook news feed is one of many recent changes Facebook has made recently. Others include: Instant Articles; voice and video calling; online payment; the hello app; and the soon to be revealed buy buttons and messenger for business. Facebook has been the major force in social media for as long as social media has existed. Facebook is still way out in front, in terms of reach, monetisation and market capitalisation. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s mission to dominate the Internet is based on connecting people, learning about their behaviour and gaining insights in order to sell advertising space.
Providing more control over their news feed is one way to ensure Facebook continues to be engaging for users. The number of friends and pages we follow have made it impossible for many of us to view every update from every source. Facebook has always used algorithms to decide what posts to show, picking those that are popular and most likely to increase engagement.
However even with algorithmic help if you’re anything like me you still struggle to cut down on spammy updates you’d rather not see. Facebook is betting that by letting people have more control over their top stories, they will be more engaged and stay for longer visits.
Responding to trends
Apart from getting updates from our friends, family and favourite sites we tend to spend our time online: posting; chatting; catching up on news; shopping; watching videos; and looking for job and business opportunities. Starting to see a trend yet? Enter Messenger, onsite purchasing, Facebook reviews and most importantly Instant Articles.
New features responding to trends are turning Facebook into our gateway to the Internet. In the last couple of years. Facebook has also become one of the largest referral sources for content sites. Seeing an opportunity to increase user engagement and time spent on site, Facebook negotiated a revenue sharing deal with publishers in return for displaying and hosting their content on Facebook. This is how Instant Articles was born with benefits for users, publishers and advertisers by allowing better targeted and faster-loading ads.
In combination with the currently-in-testing buy buttons, Messenger for Business (coming soon) and online payments (still rolling out), Facebook could be on the cusp of delivering instant gratification - for consumers and businesses. We’re watching and waiting!
Check out Facebook Updates Part 1: Impact on Your Business and stay tuned for Part 3: Optimise Your Posts of our three part Facebook updates series.