Under pressure to make his social media platform more socially responsible, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he will change its algorithms, so users see more content from friends and family and less from businesses.
For print businesses using Facebook as a means of marketing and gaining exposure, the changes could have a detrimental effect, with Zuckerberg warning that the company expects measures of engagement to go down, alongside the amount of time people spend on Facebook.
For those spending money to advertise with Facebook, the notion that measures of engagement will go down has been met with alarm. Media and marketing analysts have described the announcement as a bomb, and the end of the already shrinking organic reach on the site. Reach refers to how many users see your content once it is posted, which can be organic, meaning unpaid, versus promoted or boosted, which is paid for to be seen by more people.
Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook will be more family and friend focused in 2018 signals a shift away from the current brand-heavy experience most users are now familiar with.
Zuckerberg says, “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you will see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
“As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”