By Ryan McBurney
Nov 07, 2014

Knee-Jerk Reactions To Facebook's News Feed Update

Facebook has unveiled a new settings menu and customization options for its News Feed. These new features allow users the ability to personalize the types of content they see when on Facebook.

This is big, big news. And this update will have major implications for social media marketing going into 2015. Here are some of my knee-jerk reactions:

  • The Mashable article linked above only mentions people’s profiles being customized in News Feeds, not Facebook Fan Pages. But I have to assume that this will be a Facebook-wide update. If not now then eventually, right? For the sake of this blog post, I'm going to make this assumption. 
  • Overall, this is a good thing. User experience on Facebook will improve across the board, which should lead to increased engagement levels. And more interaction helps everyone – including Facebook Fan Pages.  
  • However this update will still pose complicated obstacles for many brands and organizations who use social media to meet new people and accomplish marketing goals. It’s now a totally different ball game. Instead of formulating content to best fit Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, social media profiles are at the mercy of users. 
  • As a social media marketer, should I panic? Does my life have any meaning? Will the Nationals ever win a world series? Why am I sad about Clay Aiken not winning his election? Should I buy a bacon bowl?
  • My hope is that well-managed, high-quality pages will become stronger, while fan pages that don’t value engagement will wither away in silence.
  • If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a noise? If a Facebook Fan Page makes a post, but no users allow it in their newsfeed, is it actually a post?
  • The importance of Facebook advertising increases with each update that Facebook makes. Last year we saw organic impressions drop drastically. Combine that with this new revelation and one must think that paid impressions is the only way to get your message across to your audiences. Getting into users’ newsfeeds is becoming more difficult. Yet also more valuable.
  • Facebook “Fans” are now a useless metric. From here on out, it’s all about how many people allow a page to be published on their personal newsfeed. Will brands and organizations be able to track how many newsfeeds they appear on? Will there be any metrics on this? And if so, will it be post-level?
  • Marketers can use data to improve the user experience for Facebook users. Facebook understands this well, so I have faith that new metrics will soon be available.
  • Then again, I may be over-blowing all of this. There have been features that have allowed users to unfollow pages and tell Facebook, “I don’t want to see this anymore.” It’s very possible that little will change.  
  • Time to sit back and watch how it all plays out. 

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