Facebook Gives a Blow to Referral-Dependent Businesses

Facebook has announced new changes to the way it maintains your news feed. If you’re a regular folk with a moderate social activity online, the changes are for the best. If you’re a business that heavily relies on referral traffic, buckle up.

The announcement says the changes are meant to better display the content that matters to you. The changes were necessary because people keep posting more and more stuff, and as this content expands, its reach gobbles up under its own heft.

In other words words, as you keep subscribing your interests to Facebook, the news feed gives you increasingly more posts, so it’s easier to miss one with each passing second of you not using Facebook. And usage time is precisely the one thing that remains unchanged in the face of these changes. If anything, some will probably reduce their Facebook time because of this clutter. But I digress.

Balancing out your feed

In order to give you the right mix of updates from who and what you follow, Facebook has decided to favor friend posts over Pages. Photos, videos, status updates or links posted directly by the friends you care about will be higher up in News Feed, to reduce your chances of missing that content.

“If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed. This update tries to make the balance of content the right one for each individual person,” according to Max Eulenstein, Product Manager, and Lauren Scissors, User Experience Researcher.

Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

Another improvement targets people who aren’t on the receiving end of tons of content every day. Facebook says it has relaxed a rule where previously the network would prevent users from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row.

The third change has to do with those annoying nags about your friends liking or commenting on a post. These events will appear lower down in your News Feed or not at all, according to the aforementioned duo.

Pages could require a quality uptick

Although not addressing businesses directly, Facebook does have a few words of caution for those who rely on the network to stay relevant and put bread on the table. Eulenstein and Scissors stress that these changes will affect page distribution with varying mileage, “depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity.” More importantly, “In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”

According to the social network, businesses who rely on Facebook referral traffic should strive to feed meaningful content to their audience and remember to consult the Page post best practices every now and then.

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