Last week Facebook announced massive changes to the News Feed but it was the words, “Fans will see ALL updates from the Brands they’ve liked” that had marketers jumping up and down with delight. It sounded like Facebook had listened to the frustrations expressed by Brand’s about Facebook filtering their content and determining what their Fans see rather than allowing Fans to make that choice for themselves.
Introducing the new ‘Feeds’ feature
So this seemed like excellent news until that is we learned a little more about the look and feel of the newsfeed. Coming is a new feature called ‘Feeds’ including ‘Photos,’ ‘All Friends’ and ‘Following.’ Select the ‘Photos’ feed and you’ll see every photo your friends have shared. This looks great as photos are much larger so appealing to our love of visuals. Select the ‘All Friends’ feed and you’ll see all the status updates posted by friends. And finally when the user selects the feed called ‘Following’ the Brands and celebrity pages they’ve liked are all collected nicely together and if the news is true from Facebook, you’ll see ALL the content they’ve posted. So what’s the problem?
It’s all too complicated
Okay here it is. How often do you mute Ads, skip Ads, or channel hop when they appear in the middle of your favourite TV programme? I’m guessing the answer is probably ‘frequently.’ Well, right now when Facebook users like a Brand, the Brand’s content (Edgerank permissible) appears in the user’s newsfeed. If the user gets bored of the Brand’s content they have to ‘unfriend’ the Page to remove it. Many as you know never bother, they just stop engaging and for a while longer you still get to have your content in front of them. However, with the revamped newsfeed, my concern is, people will either forget about the different feeds because it’s all too complicated, or they’ll ignore the feed they view as the ‘Ad’ feed. If a users choose a default of ‘All Friends’ (and I suspect many will) it could mean they rarely see a Brand’s content and that’s got to be bad news for marketers.
Take a look for yourself and see what you think.
Change is inevitable
As it is, we don’t know if ads like ‘Promote Posts’ will appear in the default or ‘Following’ feed. My guess is the default feed for I can’t see Brands buying Ads if they’re going to be hidden in a Feed potentially ignored by users. It’s still early days and Facebook has said the rollout is going to be limited to gauge reaction so it will be a while before we can see it for ourselves and test it out. One thing is for sure, Facebook and Social Media in general is all about change and as before we’ll adapt even if it’s with some kicking and screaming.
To your online success!