Recently, Facebook announced another change to their News Feed preferences which allows users greater control over what they see in their News Feed. While these updates have already taken place on iOS, the desktop and Android versions will have to wait a few weeks.
As you might already know, Facebook’s key efforts over the past few months have been primarily in an effort to increase the relevance of items being shown to individuals’ News Feeds. In the past, this was done on Facebook’s end – by an internal “ranking” system and how much engagement those particular posts had. Now, however, the power is in the hands of the user.
As a user, this sounds excellent! And, as a marketer, it sounds a little unnerving. So what will users now be able to control?
1. Users control which friends and pages are most important
First of all, users can now select within preferences which friends and pages they want to see in their News Feeds. Got a pesky uncle that just won’t stop posting about his favorite 2016 electoral candidate? Gone. Unfortunately, this does also include pages – which may or may not include your page. This is probably the biggest fear for marketers – but never fear.
2. Users can follow or unfollow pages and friends
While this feature was already available, now it’s new and improved. Users now can see a consolidated list of the friends, Pages, and groups they’ve seen in their Feeds for the last 7 days. From there, users can actually re-follow those they’ve unfollowed.
3. Users can discover new pages to follow
This is a neat feature! Now, users can find pages from businesses and publishers that more closely align with their interests, with many of them based on prior activity or “likes” on certain types of pages. The point of this is to cut out the “noise” and let people only engage with content they will actually want to see, so we see this as a huge win for marketing. If people don’t want to see your message, you probably don’t want them to see it – either because they aren’t in your target audience, or something else.
These updates will definitely affect marketers – some more than others. The key here is to focus on how to improve your organic Facebook content while still encouraging new followers. If you have great content, this should come naturally, but you can also remind users to add you to their “see first” sections – either by posting an update to Facebook or including a note in the cover photo of your Facebook page.