It seems Facebook have decided this week that blood is thicker than water (and publishers), when it comes to what they show their users, following the latest tweak to their news feed algorithm.
This move will impact on all types of content posted by publishers, including video, links and photos. It is quite possible that many will see a dip in referral traffic as a result. This is particularly true for those brands whose audience comes mainly from content published on the platform, via their own Facebook page.
However for some businesses, this change to our news feeds will have less of an impact. Brands or media outlets whose site traffic comes mostly from individuals sharing their content will experience less of a drop in performance. Facebook will continue to allow publisher content that your friends have interacted with to appear higher in your feed (in comparison to posts shared by the brands directly) so viral posts that ‘snowball’ with shares will still be just as visible.
The nervy reaction from publishers to this change serves as a reminder of just how much some have come to rely on Facebook for a large share of their site traffic. Despite the potential impact, businesses and media outlets have little choice but to accept these new changes. Unsurprisingly, Facebook appear to have maintained their positive stance towards these publishers using their platform for paid-for advertising.
With Facebook planning to start making these changes imminently, only time will tell how hard this move will hit brands. In the meantime, you can look forward to seeing much more from your friends and family on your news feed in the coming weeks (because nobody ever gets tired of someone else’s baby pictures).
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