Facebook’s Latest Tweaks Favor Friends, Could Hurt Page Reach
Three updates to the News Feed algorithm prioritize posts from friends; company warns that reach might decline for some Pages.
Facebook says it’s giving people what they want — and that could result in Pages getting less of what they crave: reach and referral traffic.
Facebook announced three updates to its News Feed algorithm today and warned that the changes could cause reduced distribution for some Pages. Facebook said referral traffic to media publishers has doubled in the past 18 months, but there’s no denying that overall organic reach for business Pages has plunged.
How significant and widespread the potential drop caused by today’s updates wasn’t stated. Your mileage may vary, product manager Max Eulenstein and user experience researcher Lauren Scissors wrote in a blog post:
The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline. Overall, pages should continue to post things that people find meaningful and consider these best practices for driving referral traffic.
The most significant change will push content from friends higher in the News Feed. People Facebook has polled worry about missing updates from friends, so the company is working to make sure content posted directly by friends — photos, videos, status updates or links — isn’t missed. Those who like to read news and interact with posts from Pages will still see that type of content.
“This update tries to make the balance of content the right one for each individual person,” the post said.
People also said they didn’t like seeing content surfaced when their friends liked and commented on a post, so another update will push such stories farther down the News Feed or not show them at all. Facebook is also relaxing a rule that prevented users from seeing multiple posts from the same source, “improving the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see.”