Facebook has tweaked its newsfeed algorithm in order to make its content more relevant to users. In the face of growing competition from other social media platforms, Facebook hopes that the changes will refresh their image and keep Facebook as the dominant social media site.
Facebook may be taking on board the findings of the recent Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. It reported that the social media population is maturing. Although the majority of users (eighty nine per cent) are in the eighteen to twenty-nine age groups, the older demographic is starting to use social networks in greater numbers. Facebook is realising that these older users are looking for more news focused content and less shallow posts.
The main points in Facebook’s changes are that the algorithm will surface links to articles that match the user’s interests; news content will take a prominent position in mobile searches, articles that receive lots of comments will be resurfaced to keep conversations going, and relevant articles will be displayed under popular posts to support content discovery.
In a recent interview with All Things D, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stated that: “We’re not trying to be the coolest. And we’re not trying to be the newest. We’re trying to be the most useful.”
Marketers should also realise the advantages the changes could bring to their brand identity. Their social media marketing campaigns must also adapt – by sharing news content online they will be strengthening their online visibility. With social media evolving, brands must develop their content accordingly.