Last January, Mark Zuckerberg announced a new algorithm in Facebook that aims to change the face of the entire social networking site. The modification, which will be effective very soon, seeks to refurbish the newsfeed, focusing on social interaction rather than “public content from businesses, brands and media,” as specified in Mark Zuckerberg’s official statement. Many businessmen operating in Facebook through their ads and pages are already worried about the decrease in engagement, while many Facebook users themselves opt out of the change.
The Philippines is known as one of the countries with the largest number of Facebook users, rounding up to 33 million users last year. This is why perhaps every digital marketing company in the Philippines uses the networking site as a marketing tool; however, Facebook’s change is poised to shake the system.
In his statement, Zuckerberg assured that the shift is beneficial to businesses but this did not stop many digital marketers, influencers, and social media strategists from being reluctant.
For a wider perspective, take a comprehensive look on the subject matter as we give the positive points and the challenges which will occur with Facebook’s big change.
Cause of Change
Gary Vaynerchuk, a Belarusian American entrepreneur said, “Marketers ruin everything.” While this is debatable, there are several cases that can prove that it is somehow true.
Facebook was originally a social networking site intended to connect friends, families, colleagues, couples, and even strangers online. Before its new system in 2016, Facebook’s Newsfeed was composed of posts and activities of your networks in chronological order, allowing you to have a complete view of a certain person or page’s content. Today, what you see on Facebook are regulated content. Gone are the days of unconstrained information – instead, what you see now are based on your interests and only 30% of these are from the people you are friends with. The chronological system was also removed. When you scroll down, you see content in varying posting time.
Over the years, marketers took the plunge to Facebook as they saw how it is an effective tool to market their business or product. Currently, we see companies using multitudes of videos, images, stories, and ads as user interaction to increase engagement. With these, personal interaction has become less and less apparent and while it is still widespread, you will see from a larger viewpoint that Facebook rendered itself as one big channel for business advertisements.
Brand New Algorithm
Mark Zuckerberg himself is aware of the palpable boom of video and other public content in Facebook these past couple of years. However, with an aim to go back to the site’s original roots, he said that people could expect to see more posts from friends, family, and groups through the new algorithm. This means there will be less posts about businesses, brands, and other media. It alarmed businesspeople and companies that use Facebook as a marketing outlet, fearing lower ad impressions and decline in awareness.
Furthermore, Zuckerberg said that the time people will spend on Facebook will be more valuable although it will go down, as well as some measures of engagement. Truthfully, this upcoming change will be beneficial to digital marketers too, as well as for those in the world of social media marketing, but in ways many do not expect.
Benefits of the Change to Digital Marketing
Even though there will be fewer appearances of business marketing posts in Facebook, the chance for an effective impression will not be taken away. If anything, the new algorithm will provide more value to advertisements as digital marketers will be taken out of their comfort zones and will be prompted to improve quality by making each advertisement stronger and more interesting.
Once Facebook’s new algorithm is implemented, marketers should adjust to make the posts more emphatic and more user-centric. The social networking site’s built-in features, like the video player and the in-app browser, could also be used for advantage.
Moreover, this giant change in Facebook is not for the lazy and the thoughtless – it is for digital marketers who are determined and skilled enough to release ads that can say and impact greatly even in small dosages. As digital marketers, we must respect changes and find solutions to work our way around. Doing so will train us to adapt in the ever-changing customs of digital marketing.