Facebook shares have plummeted 4.47 per cent after the company announced it would be making major changes to the way its newsfeed is constructed with more emphasis on social posts such as albums and statuses than articles from news publications.
Facebook is dropping the hammer-and brand managers are feeling it. Addressing criticism that its social network was yielding a negative effect on users' well-being and being manipulated by organisations spreading propaganda or trying to illegitimately attract visitors to their sites, Facebook said it would give priority in its news feed to posts from users' friends and family members and play down those from organisations and people they follow. "And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people", Zuckerberg added.
The firm found the time spent on the social network by the average user fell by 7% last August, compared with the same period a year before, suggesting Facebook users had become exhausted of being bombarded with news stories and adverts.
Facebook said its new ranking system would hurt non-advertising content from publishers and brands, like news stories and viral video posts, but not change the ranking of advertising that has been paid for.
"It's simple mathematics for a display business: Less time on Facebook and fewer ads can only mean that the ads that do show are more expensive", said Paul Mead, chairman of London-based media agency VCCP Media. The monthly audience of the social network more than 2 billion users worldwide.
While media outlets may be anxious about significant traffic declines from the adjustment, advertisers are all too familiar with Facebook's routine algorithm changes. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.
So what exactly do these changes mean for you? Since Facebook has not been clear about what content its revamped algorithms would prioritise, she said, it might end up being "the most controversial stuff" that generates heated conversations.
Late last week, Facebook announced that they were set to change their algorithm so that users would see less content from brands, and more from friends and family in a move to make the social media site more meaningful.
The announcement comes amid a broader shift at Facebook. He admits that he expects publishers to react with "a certain amount of scrutiny and anxiety", but didn't have many concrete answers about how publishers should scramble to react beyond "experimenting. and seeing...what content gets more comments, more likes, more reshares". Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years.
Zuckerberg said earlier this month that his personal goal for 2018 would be to focus on "fixing" many of these existential issues, including "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent".
How will you be changing your Facebook strategy, PR Daily readers?