Is this the end of Facebook for business?

If you use Facebook for business you need to be aware of a forthcoming change. Today, Facebook announced it is altering the algorithm that determines what content is shown in the news feed.

Priority will be given to posts from friends, family, and Facebook groups you are a member of. You will see fewer posts from businesses, brands and media.

Why is Facebook making this change?

In a post on Facebook Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “We’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

He said that he and his team felt a responsibility to make sure Facebook was good for people’s wellbeing.

“If public content is to be promoted, it will now have to be seen to encourage community interaction – as happens within the tight-knit groups that discuss TV programmes and sports.”

What does this mean for Facebook for business?

The change will be phased in over the coming weeks so it is not yet clear how much this will impact Facebook for business. However, it doesn’t look good.

The organic reach of business page posts has been declining for some time due to the most recent algorithm changes. Facebook has been prioritising posts from pages that receive high levels of engagement and interaction which means many businesses are not getting the visibility they once did. This has pushed more businesses to use paid advertising to ensure their posts are seen by their target audience.

It’s not clear from this latest announcement how Facebook is going to treat paid adverts. Presumably, Facebook will need to reduce the amount of sponsored content it shows in newsfeeds if it’s going to stay true to the “family and friends first” newsfeed. Less advertising slots will inevitably increase competition and raise costs.

We’ve always recommended against investing too heavily in Facebook (and other social media platforms) because, as has now been evidenced, you’re not in control of the medium. It was great while it lasted but I think brands will now move their attention away from Facebook.

Does your business rely on Facebook? What do you think of the recent announcement? Please comment below.

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