January 19, 2018
Surviving The Facebook News Feed Algorithm Update
Publishers and businesses that rely on Facebook for referral traffic are up in arms. Mark Zuckerberg’s announced a retooling of the Facebook News Feed algorithm. And its leading to claims about the death of Facebook as a referral tool. But is this really the case? We take a look into how to survive the Facebook News Feed Algorithm update.
What’s changing with Facebook News Feed?Facebook is changing their algorithm from a focus on providing content, to encouraging more social interaction. In short, this is accomplished by populating your news feed with more of your friends and family – and less content from brands. This presents a major roadblock for many businesses and publishers on the social media site. Facebook has established itself as one of the top players in referral traffic. In 2015, they even surpassed Google for a while. Soon they dropped back to second, but stayed close. Last year, however, Facebook’s referral traffic saw a significant drop. They’re still second to Google, but the gap is widening. Combining this drop in traffic with the News Feed update is leading to brands seeking out other referral sources.
Why is Facebook changing their algorithm?Facebook has become a referral traffic giant. So it seems odd that they would change their algorithm in a way that doesn’t favour brands. Their justification is that they’re focusing on user experience over brand experience. But first and foremost, the Facebook changes are to save their own brand. The past couple of years, Facebook has come under fire from popular media. The social media site stands accused of causing and spreading social problems. The way they show content now leads to an echo chamber effect. People are fed the same ideas over and over, reinforcing concepts without being aware of opposing opinions. The Facebook echo chamber effect is said to have contributed to a rise in:
- Hate-filled content
- Fake News
- Even allowing Russian hackers to influence the US election