Facebook’s new list of changes just announced is likely to put additional pressure on advertisers to throw up compelling content in order to ‘integrate themselves’ into consumers’ lives to a greater degree. Which is the prime loser? It’s the ‘Like’, which will now have a lesser role to play in marketing.
One major change is that the networking site has inserted a control just in the top right of each story, which users can check for unmarking a top story. It will utilize that piece of information for the purpose of automatically editing the feeds over time. Since users will enjoy a greater degree control over the news feeds, those brands coming up with irrelevant or drab updates will pay for it with lower visibility. (However, they will still continue to show up there in the Ticker.)
When you visit the social site, you should get to see the things that you are most interested in, such as your family and close friends’ status updates. Keeping this in mind, Facebook has announced certain improvements to Friend Lists plus a new Subscribe button to ‘help you find out more of what you to know and less of what you perhaps don’t.
It’s not merely the people you hear from make your News Feed more interesting. How much you visit the site also matters. So if you haven’t come back in a week or so, you may wish to see a succinct summary of top news stories first. You probably bother more about recent developments. Now, it will get easier to keep up with the news and the users irrespective of the frequency of your visit to Facebook.
When you happen to pick up a newspaper after not having read it for a week or so, the front page will immediately clue you into the most interesting (current) stories. News Feed didn’t work like that in the past, as updates would slide down in chronological order, making it difficult to zero in on what matters most. An official blog post on the site elaborating on the changes made explains:
“Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.”
Marketers, who for years have been told that they are publishers in actuality, will now have to really put that into practice. Facebook is a social channel, albeit of collaborative nature, which needs to be programmed, as a result digital marketers indeed, need to get users to share and meaningfully interact with more content.