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Changes to how businesses use Facebook: Everything we know so far

Mark Zuckerberg shocked the world when he announced some big changes that will be coming to Facebook. He states that Facebook is going to change its algorithm to promote more personal content and less news. He claims they will no longer prioritise “helping you find relevant content” and instead users will “have more meaningful interactions”. This indicates that your news feed will not be dominated by professionally made content and rumours suggest Facebook could create an entirely separate news feed for businesses and sponsored content.

Facebook tackles fake news

On Facebook, fake news posts can often get the most shares and engagements. It is likely these changes stem from the accusations the social media platform faced during the 2016 US election. During the election, they were accused of spreading of fake news, and perhaps Facebook is making these changes to avoid similar accusations in the future.

How will businesses and influencers be affected?

Businesses who rely on Facebook for traffic will be the most affected. However, influencers are likely to benefit from the changes. Multi-million-pound companies such as GymShark and Daniel Wellington grew their businesses using influencer partnerships. It is likely other businesses will start to follow suit. It is likely influencers will not be penalised as they are people first and content marketers second. More and more businesses are likely to start finding influencers in their niche with big followings and paying them to promote their products. However, in time Facebook could even start regulating influencers too and treating their organic content the same way they treat organic content.

Separate news feed for businesses and sponsored posts

Some sources even suggest Facebook will introduce a separate news feed.  This could be similar to the experiment it ran in six small countries where it removed any post from professional publishers and separated them into a separate news feed it called the “explore” feed. Many publishers in these countries were outraged and, in Guatemala, some claimed their readerships halved overnight as a direct result of their content disappearing from the main social feed.

Will Instagram echo Facebook’s changes?

This is not the first time Facebook has made changes to its algorithms. Facebook decided to promote “instant articles”, videos, live videos, Facebook groups and more in recent years. They also changed the news feed from working chronological and this change was echoed on Instagram. Facebook implemented a new algorithm that limited your reach to 30% of your total follower count. This meant, more businesses starting paying for adverts to guarantee their content was seen. If Instagram echoed this major change, it is possible they could also focus less on promotional content on their platform in future.

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