Facebook made the announcement on Thursday 1/11/18 that it will start to show more posts from family and friends and fewer posts from publishers and brands on user's timelines.
According to Zuckerberg, the adjustment is designed to encourage users to interact with the content that they see, as users tend to comment and share content that their friends post more often that they interact with content posted by publishers and brands.
“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,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Thursday.
Zuckerberg mentioned that FB expects that this adjustment will result in users spending less time on the platform all together.
“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
This change is a pretty big deal for a few reasons:
Facebook claims the reason for these adjustments come from a study they published last month 0n their company blog, which found that users who mindlessly scroll through their feed without making any interaction with the content they see leave the experience feeling unsatisfactory. These new changes are intended to encourage more personal interaction (since you will see more posts from friends vs brands) which should result and a more satisfied user.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg continued. “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being.”
I personally believe that this isn't about the user's mental state much at all. It's a move to drive in more ad sales, and force smaller brands to dig deep in their pockets in order to get a decent reach. As a promoter of smaller brands, I notice how much harder it has become to organically promote content via sharing on your personal timeline or in groups. One post too many and you can lose access to your brand completely. All we can do is wait and see what the next update will be like.
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