Facebook introduced a redesigned news feed on Thursday. It’s the first major shift in the way Facebook delivers content since 2011 when they rolled out Timeline.
The primary goal of the news feed redesign was to give everyone in the world the best ‘personalized newspaper’ that they could imagine. This was done by providing an avenue for richer stories, giving users their choice of feeds and delivering a powerfully consistent, mobile inspired UI across all devices.
While there are many changes for Facebook users to experience and adjust to, there are a few primary takeaways for brands so far:
1. Engaging content is even more important - A good social media strategy must always include enjoyable and sharable content. Not only is it a way to provide value to your fans but, if shared, your posts will reach hundreds or even thousands of people outside of your immediate network.
While sharable content was always important, the new and improved newsfeed now makes it vital. With multiple feeds, Facebook users have the ability to control the content they see. This includes separate feeds for companies, friends, music, and more.
One feed that will likely become popular is the ‘All Friends’ feed which will only display content relating to or generated by a user’s friends. By default, updates and content generated by brands and businesses will likely not appear in this feed. Besides advertising, the only way in may be through content that has been liked, shared or commented on.
2. Images, Images, Images - If you’re a regular social media user, you know that images are a key element of the content that you see and interact with on a daily basis.
Facebook noticed this as well and adjusted the news feed to place a larger emphasis on images. Photos will now be front and center-becoming more visual and more immersive than ever. There’s even a feed for image only content.
Everything from liking pages to sharing photo albums was enhanced to tell a more impactful story through pictures.
Your organization’s name will now be accompanied by your cover photo and more. This makes it even more important to have impactul branding and imagery throughout your page.
On average, posts that include images already tend to generate more activity on Facebook. I believe this impact will be greatly elevated with the redesigned news feed.
3. Extend beyond Facebook - Facebook knows that a large amount of your content comes from sources outside of their social network. Users and businesses alike regularly post articles from other websites, share Pinterest boards, interact with apps and much more.
The updated news feed introduces various changes- both small and large- which they hope will more seamlessly integrate this external content.
Along the lines of the image updates, images and visuals shared through sites such as Pinterest will be more powerful and reflective of the content you are sharing.
Shared articles and links will become more emphasized as well. If a user shares one of your blog posts or a page of your website the links will be much more detailed with larger images, more prominent titles and better descriptions of the links.
With changes like this, it may become easier to captivate your Facebook audience and encourage them to engage with you on external sites and social networks. Creating valuable content on additional sites and forming a strategy that involves a blog will help you take advantage of these updates.
Overall, it’s still early in the transition process and many people won’t be seeing the new newsfeed layout for a few weeks. There is still a lot to learn and experiment with and there will likely be even more ways for businesses to capitalize on these changes- including enhanced advertising opportunities. Stay tuned!
About Bret Ludlow
Bret Ludlow is the Vice President, Strategic Solutions at Liquid Interactive. Bret works in concert with our account executives and the inter-departmental teams to understand the needs of our core clients and prospective clients and determine how we can best serve their business.