Posted by Justin Sadowski , Ad Ops Manager & Megan Halscheid, Director, Performance Innovation BACKGROUND Until March 7th 2012, News Feed, Facebook’s most valuable product, has remained largely unchanged (except for updates to the EdgeRank formula in September 2012). Now, Facebook has made some major News Feed updates, centered on content filtering (a “personalized newspaper,” as Mark Zuckerberg called it). Most significantly, the changes include:
WHY? Facebook is hoping that these changes will result in increased user engagement and time spent on the site. The meteoric rise of Instagram (which now has one hundred million active users, a 150% increase since Facebook’s acquisition) proves that users will flock to single use entities if the content is relevant and engaging. Facebook’s creation of content-specific channels in the News Feed follows this trend. The change empowers participants to take more control of their networks—or at least offers the option—thus enabling them to reach the right content based on their current needs or mood. Previously, all content was fed into a single News Feed displaying—by default—the “Top Stories” for each user. Photo updates, status changes, polls and ads all fought for the same space. Content-specific feeds were cumbersome to reach, and they were only available if the user made “Lists” to categorize his/her content. While some sorting was automatic (“Top Stories” and “Most Recent,” which will remain in the new News Feed), feeds dedicated to photos, music and links were often difficult to find or use. Facebook has attempted to make similar changes in the past (by providing a real-time ticker), but many users have decided to hide this option. The new News Feed will create a more immersive experience for participants by automating content categorization, and it will look the same across desktop and mobile. Participants will now have the ability to find the content that is most relevant to the user—photos, links, music, news, video, apps—based on what their friends are sharing, filtered by what Facebook recognizes as the most engaging for that individual. In the Participation Age, we’re all information junkies. Social content and sharing has exploded, and Facebook’s move aims to sort through the clutter for you. It creates an RSS feed on your network without any necessary work. IMPLICATIONS for ADVERTISERS The News Feed update seeks to keep participants highly engaged in their News Feeds, while at the same time giving advertisers more opportunity to deliver more engaging ads to these participants. Per the changes, advertisers should keep the following in mind:
As the changes roll out, Performics will provide updates on new opportunities for advertisers. We believe these changes will be beneficial for both the participant and the advertiser, thus creating ideal balance in the News Feed. For a full preview of the News Feed changes, visit Facebook’s News Feed Update page.