Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the New York Times that the social network will revamp its news feed to emphasize “meaningful interaction” between friends and family.
And that is good news.
If you’re a Facebook users (who isn’t these days?), you have noticed that the platform now prioritises engagement (and monopolising users’ attention) above almost all other considerations.
While this update has helped propel the company’s revenue to record highs, hitting about $34 billion last year, FB users are clearly unhappy.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content—posts from businesses, brands and media —is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
We will now see fewer posts from publishers and businesses, prioritising meaningful interactions between friends and family.
However, users can still choose “See First” to raise their favorite pages’ visibility in the news feed.
Posts with public content that generate genuine conversation will still be prioritised by the updated algorithm (Facebook warned that “engagement bait” tactics such as “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” will be punished).
What does it mean to us marketers?
For brands that have invested millions in paid advertising and built their presence this way, nothing.
In the short term it might hurt us.
But in the long run, our audience might be able to see our stories they actually like – not chosen by an algorithm.
There’s no undoing the damage that Facebook has caused over the last few years.
Still, Mark Zuckerberg has made a noble decision, to carry his company back towards its roots as a true “social network,” largely stripped of journalism and political propaganda.
Let’s see what happens next!