This latest update, rolled out this week, aims to help filter the amount and kind of content consumers are getting on their individual News Feeds.
The first update is great for users who do not have much content to consume on their News Feeds. The update now allows multiple content from the same source to appear on the News Feed, great for users who have proactively limited the number of friends they have or the number of fan pages they have Liked. Previously, Facebook has limited the ability to see content from the same source in a row, but this update relaxes this rule. According to Facebook in a recent blog post, “…if you run out of content but want to spend more time on News Feed, you’ll see more.”
The second update is particularly worrying for brands and publishers; the social networking site is putting more weight for content from friends. In the guise of helping users not miss important personally-relevant content, updates from friends (photos, videos, links) will be placed higher in the News Feed. Facebook does mention that content we interact with from pages we like are still visible, so I believe it’s all the more important now to get your online community members to be more proactive on your fan pages, through comments or other significant engagement actions.
The third and final update is, in my opinion, aimed at reducing the amount of clutter and noise we get on News Feed. We as users don’t often care if a friend has liked or commented on a piece of content we absolutely do not have anything to do with and so these “referral types” of content will be pushed lower down the News Feed. However, brands should take note as this may drastically reduce organic reach and engagement even more, as updates on friends Liking or interacting with a brand page (or its content) may be pushed lower down the News Feed.