Organic exposure and engagement on Facebook is something that’s becoming harder and harder to achieve. This News Feed update won’t help.

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, recently announced the social media platform will be overhauling its News Feed. Content posted by friends and family will be given preference over public content from businesses, brands and media.


Why the change?

At the moment, News Feed is heavily populated with public posts. It barely displays any content from friends and family. This is largely because businesses have been getting more and more active on Facebook. The rise of video content has played a role in this as well.

The shift to displaying content with more “meaningful interactions” stems from research that Facebook conducted. They found that being connected and interacting with friends and family correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health. Passively reading articles or watching videos (even if they are entertaining or informative), just doesn’t have the same effect.


So why is this a big deal?

The changes will heavily impact publishers, non-profits, small businesses and many other groups that rely on Facebook to reach their audiences. There will be significant drops in traffic and engagement.

Zuckerberg also mentioned the changes will most likely decrease the total time users spend on the platform. However, people will leave with a more valuable experience. (Good for them, not so great for advertisers.)

Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook, explained the likely impact of the changes in a separate article:

“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”


Mosseri elaborated a bit more on “meaningful interactions” on Twitter, revealing the algorithm favours comments over likes.


Some good news though: Mosseri also mentioned that the changes are likely to prioritise live video and celebrity content, since live videos receive an average of six times more engagements than regular videos. Celebrity posts also trigger high user engagement.

These changes will start to become apparent to users over the coming months.

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