After launching in 2004 and surpassing the 2 million users mark last year, Facebook has quickly become one of the most successful social media platforms out there. Known for their mission statement to, "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together" they are doing exactly that with their latest update.

  • Facebook makes plans to update the News Feed algorithm to bring people closer together
  • Research proves that more meaningful content can have a positive impact on our well-being
  • Concerns grow on how public pages will appear on news feeds

Facebook is starting the year with another major change to our timelines. The social media platform is always looking for new ways to accelerate user experience by making the site more personal and interactive. Their latest plans involve changing the news feed algorithm to focus more on "meaningful" interactions between family and friends and less on content by businesses.

In a detailed post, Mark Zuckerberg explained how Facebook is using 2018 to work towards making the time users spend on Facebook time well spent. Once the new algorithm is in place, news feeds will be filled with relevant content that users will find meaningful, making you more connected to those you care about online.

Zuckerberg also went on to discuss the research Facebook has completed, teamed with leading experts at universities. They found that when users are able to use social media to connect with loved ones, it can have a positive impact on our well-being. It can make us feel less alone and more connected with those we care about, showing improvements in our health and happiness levels. Compared to scrolling through videos and quick articles which don't show the same results.

How does this impact your business?

Mosseri, Head of News Feeds, published an article on Facebook's blog, explaining the new update. He goes on to describe the impact it will have on pages and public content, as page admins may notice a decline in their reach, referral traffic and video watch time. This will prove especially difficult to pages who rely on the social media platform to share their content and direct their audience to their website.

With the new update focusing more on family and friends content, it will mean there will be less timeline space for pages and public content. When these updates take place some page admins may begin to witness a decline in their analytics. However, this will vary depending on your page, the style of content you post and how users interact with you.

If your content is able to create conversations purposeful interactions. Although, if your page is sharing content that receives little or no reactions then you may suffer.

This doesn't mean your content will be removed from news feeds completely, there will just be fewer of these posts.

What can we keep up with the new algorithm?

Begin by carefully planning future content that can spark conversation between users. For example, live videos are known for collecting a lot of engagement by receiving 6 times the interactions regular videos do on average. Conduct research into the type of content which gets people commenting, such as forums, groups, latest news, trends and events.

Users will also be able to still receive updates from their favourite pages by choosing the 'See First' option in their News Feed Preferences. This will help their chosen pages remain at the top of their timelines so they don't miss out.

However, Mosseri has also warned that pages will be penalised if they are found to be utilising "engagement-bait" that appears to commandeer user's reactions to earn themselves a higher reach.