Well, it is called the News Feed.
For at least the last six months, Facebook has been adjusting its algorithm to reward high-quality content and has admitted a strong bias toward news publishers.
Now as Digiday’s John McDermott noticed last week, Facebook is placing what amounts to free ads for publishers in users’ mobile news feeds.
McDermott noted that CNN’s growth in Facebook likes has soared by 1.2 million in the last month, to more than 11 million, while in the same time span last year it added only 76,000.
To be clear, the evidence is very circumstantial (obligatory reminder that correlation isn’t causation), but brands not getting the same treatment couldn’t be blamed for being displeased. Already, Facebook page managers — at least those who aren’t in the news business — are dealing with a huge drop-off in organic reach for posts.
On the other hand, Facebook is working hard to keep its 1.25 billion active users interested and engaged. And currently, it apparently believes people want a significant dose of professionally produced news.
“A small but growing number of adults use Facebook to get their news,” Jill Sherman, director of social and content strategy at DigitasLBi, told Digiday. “Facebook’s new algorithm is favoring the most newsworthy, sharable content in the feed, so actively promoting media and publishers at no cost makes sense.”