Facebook is putting friends first - what does it mean for users and publishers?

June 30 2016
Published in Opinions

Facebook is going back to basics. The social network has just announced its decision to prioritize posts from friends over content from publishers in users’ news feeds.

It’s quite the about-turn. Facebook has been “Twitterizing” itself for a while now - gradually moving towards more informative content by introducing features such as trends, hashtags and public profiles.

This most recent announcement shows that Facebook is going back to what it does best: keeping friends and family connected to one another, as opposed to connecting them to the outside world.

The constant dilemma of news feed relevancy

Keeping our news feeds relevant and meaningful is one of the biggest challenges faced by social networks today. Finding a happy medium between transparency and information overload isn’t easy, and the best way to rank posts is a source of debate. Twitter recently introduced a new algorithm to part of its timeline, as did Instagram.

So what does this latest change mean for publishers? Marketers and news outlets using Facebook to promote their content may see a slight drop in reach, and will have to work harder to get people to share it directly.

It may seem like Facebook is turning its back on publishers (and as such, some of its key sources of revenue), but in the end the change is a vital one for the future of the network. Giving its users more personal, meaningful content is what will keep them coming back.

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Published in Opinions