Connecting to Those that Matter Most: Thoughts on the Facebook News Feed in 2018

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg shared his personal resolution for 2018, and for the first time since 2009, it’s Facebook-focused. Zuckerberg has made it his mission to address issues with the Facebook platform and community head on. Last week, the Facebook CEO expanded on that goal with an announcement highlighting upcoming changes to the Facebook News Feed. Moving forward into 2018, the News Feed will favor “meaningful community interactions,” ranking person-to-person engagement higher than person-to-page.

The question on every marketer’s mind seems to be, “does this mean my content will be deprioritized?”

The short answer might seem like a simple yes, but there is far more at play here worth exploring.

What’s Changed?

In a post on the Facebook blog, Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri explained clearly what Facebook is changing, how it will impact people and businesses, and why the change is happening at all.

Facebook chooses what posts appear most often in people’s feeds through page rankings. Until today, these rankings were chosen based on how many people react to, comment on, and share a specific post. With this new update, Facebook will choose posts people are most likely to interact with friends on and serve those higher rankings. These can range from a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion. With this change, Facebook will prioritize posts from friends and family over public content from businesses, media companies, and public figures.

So why now? Over the last year, Facebook has been releasing research through it’s “Hard Questions” blog series. The blog series looked at how people are using Facebook, and the impact it’s making on their lives. The team at Facebook found that passive consuming can make people feel worse after using the platform, while engaging and leaving thoughtful comments tended to make people feel happier.

Facebook found that passive consumption leaves users feeling worse, while engaging and leaving thoughtful comments makes them happier.

 

In a recent New York Times interview, Zuckerberg said, “The big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do? If what we’re here to do is help people build relationships, then we need to adjust.”

How Will This Impact The Industry?

Before brands can declare the News Feed dead, think about what this will mean in the long run. People are Facebook’s bread and butter. The whole reason brands want to participate in the first place is to tap into the community Facebook is prioritizing. It’s important to remember that brands have been, and will continue to be, the primary source of revenue for Facebook.

Meaningful content has always, and will always continue to win on social. Many of our customers excel at this already and this news will only validate that strategy. Perhaps people will spend less time on the platform, but the time they do spend and the posts they engage with will provide far more value to brands.

Meaningful content has always, and will always continue to win on social. —@rodfav

 

In addition to refocusing on great content, one major benefit we see for enterprise brands is the opportunity to engage with customers 1:1 in a service or care model. When it comes to increasing brand loyalty, there is little content more meaningful than personal interactions. Brands and media companies who engage with their communities through customer care and invest in engaging and meaningful content will dominate.

The overall goal for Facebook is to nurture a positive experience for the people who use it, and in turn increase the chance for more positive interactions between brands and their customers. This is a win-win for networks, brands, and the communities that use them.

Where Spredfast Comes In

With the emphasis on meaningful engagement, customer care, and communities, social media management tools are more relevant than ever. Zuckerberg’s 2018 vision for Facebook is a refined focus on what makes social media great: connections. That’s why we’re excited to work with our customers and partners to ensure they’re connected to the people they care about most. At the end of the day, Facebook understands what is core to their product and so do we. Build trust, connect community, and show meaningful value.

Editor's note: Curious about what else might change for brands in 2018? Download our tipsheet, filled with predictions about social media's future from 11 marketers at the forefront of the game.

January 11, 2018
Infographic: What Emojis on Instagram Say About How We Feel
January 16, 2018
10 Top Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2018
Rod has served as President and CEO of Spredfast for the past six years, leading overall company operations and long-term strategic direction alike. Under Rod’s direction, the Spredfast team of over 500 employees helps more than 650 of the world’s largest brands connect to the people they care about most.