Brands, businesses and media organisations were ushered into 2018 by a shock reduction in their business pages posts reach on social media giant Facebook.
While many business owners who depend on Facebook for leads and have spent fortunes to grow FB followership are still worried sick about the sharp drop in FB traffic, Concise News can authoritatively state that this worrying development was occasioned by the latest tweak in FB’s news-feed as announced by FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his timeline on Friday.
In his post, Zuckergerg stated that FB decided to make the news-feed tweak owing to complaints by a cross-section of FB users that public posts and business ads are crowding out more important posts from family and friends.
Zuckerberg’s post reads:
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
“It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.
“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.
“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.
“Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.
“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.
“For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.
“Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.
“At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
Mixed reactions trail Zuckerberg’s announcement
Zuckerber’s post which has gotten 116k likes, 9k comments and 13,00 shares has been trailed by mixed reactions from facebook users from diverse background around the world.
While many FB users applauded Zuckerberg’s decision, some others, especially page owners who have spent millions of dollars building and growing business pages, feel cheated and some even asked if it’s possible to have the money spent on growing their business pages refunded back to them.
Some still believe that Zuckerberg is only being coy about his greedy attempt to squeeze more money out of owners of business pages who will now be required to pay more to interact with fans who they’ve already paid FB for to like their pages.
A few who suspected foul play are already suggesting that businesses should boycott FB and seek alternatives in Twitter, Google+ and Telegram.
A particular user who thought he was in minority group of people who use facebook more because of updates from business and brands they care about and less to stay in touch with family and friends, soon discovered he has similar minds on facebook.
See comment below:
Whatever the outcome of this latest FBs news-feed tweak, one thing is clear, FB has to strike a balance between sponsored and organic contents as Zuckerberg and his organization cannot survive for long without ad revenue from businesses.
It is based on this premise that we draw our conclusion that the last may not have been heard about FB news-feed tweaking in 2018 yet.