News Feed changes coming to Facebook.

By Michael Kaplan

On Thursday, January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook is making changes to its News Feed to prioritize posts from family, friends, and groups over posts from brands and advertisers. This change is an effort to show posts that spark conversations and ‘meaningful interactions’ between friends and family. Zuckerberg believes “the time people spend on Facebook will go down,” but that users’ time there will be “more valuable.” Moreover, with a decrease in time spent on the platform, this could result in slightly higher CPMs as it may cost more to reach end users likely to take action on a promoted post.

This News Feed change is primarily directed at content as Facebook will now prioritize posts that elicit more meaningful interactions. The big question is, how will Facebook measure that an ad has meaningful interactions? Facebook has mentioned interactions like comments or consuming a Live Video could be considered meaningful interactions. The platform realizes more users are monotonously scrolling through newsfeeds and less are interacting with brand content, which is driving the push for meaningful interactions.

We could see an increase in brands creating vertical videos that take up more real estate on a mobile device as well as Canvas units to further encourage interaction and engagement. Additionally, Canvas units allow brands to showcase multiple pieces of creative including videos, static imagery and carousels that act as a microsite. This might be a big focus for brands to utilize in 2018 as this update is implemented. Facebook’s newest ad formats all have one thing in common: they are immersive and urge users to interact with content – in a meaningfully way.

Many advertisers rely on Facebook’s auction to efficiently deliver ads, and with an increased focus on showing users posts with meaningful interactions, this puts pressure on brands to create ads that initiate conversations. As a result, we can expect posts with more comments to be featured in our News Feed coupled with a decrease in “click bait” posts. This will also aid in decreasing clutter on Facebook and provide users with an improved platform experience. Adam Mosseri, VP of product management for News Feed, stated Facebook will “continue to value publisher content.” Lastly, in the coming months, we might see Facebook add new campaign optimizations to their product catalog as changes in the platform occur, which will encourage advertisers to increase spend.

We are still waiting for more information to surface regarding any major change for advertisers, but with an ever-changing landscape, we should begin to think about new ways to further engage users to create lasting relationships.


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