Over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed Facebook has introduced a change in their news feed algorithm, which will mean more friends and family content will be shown, rather than brands and pages.
Founder and Chief Executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg says: “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.”
I feel this is a change that reflects how consumers are finally voting with their feet. In recent months, even years, there has been an avalanche of fake and unauthentic content. This is the content that brands post purely to get ‘clicks’. It’s content where they are not always interested in providing value or having meaningful engagements and conversations with their customers.
You may have heard me mention before that I was trained as a journalist, and I was always told that news is really important, and it always needs integrity. These are values instilled within that I still carry with me today. Fake news is undoubtedly damaging for everyone; for business, for customer experience, for brands. The reason I take this so seriously is that I was always trained to go out and find the news, in order to provide real value to the community. Remember, these were the days where the news did not come to us (like it does now via social media and press releases) – which I think is part of the problem.
In fact, one of the most memorable news stories I remember was when I was working for a local daily newspaper, where we actually worked alongside the police and we found the murderer before they did. I was pretty certain in those days, the content I was creating, was adding real value to my community, fake news is not. Fake news is clickbait, it’s political advertising. This is why Facebook has stepped in to make this change. Too many brands are no longer producing authentic content that provides real value and there needs to be a change.
The change means that the over-populated, uber-competitive market for space in the Facebook news feed will become even more aggressive. Only the best, most meaningful content will find its way into the consumers feed, which will be a huge change from brands and publishers using ‘engagement bait’ to try and get people to comment on their low-value posts.
This can only be a good thing for social media in general, as a lot of brands have treated Facebook as a ‘pay-to-play’ platform, pumping big budgets into their fake content. This now means that a lot more thought will have to be put into the strategies of these brands and advertisers, to provide content that people actually want and need.
It will result in more meaningful brand engagements, greater trust between consumers and brands, and a fundamental shift back to providing value.