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Social Media Marketers Beware: Facebook is Testing the Removal of Non-Promoted Posts from the News Feed

We spend a lot of time talking about the idea of rented space. Businesses that rely on Facebook to drive their digital marketing strategy might be in for a big shock. Recently, we’ve learned of new tests that Facebook is running, and, get this:

Facebook is considering the idea of taking non-promotional posts from pages out of the News Feed. 

I could stop there and you’d probably already see the significance of this. However, you might be curious about where these posts are going.

Well, the idea is a marketer’s nightmare – the Explore Feed. The Explore Feed is a completely separate part of the News Feed. The idea is that it will contain posts from pages only. The News Feed, on the other hand, would only contain posts from friends and family.

As you might imagine, it’s unlikely to assume that most users will ever bother to click over to this feed. In a way, it’s sort of like choosing to watch the commercials during a television show.

That being said, this new feed would still be likely to reach those who have interest in the news or certain brands. The majority of users might prefer these split feeds, in which case it is likely to assume that Facebook will expand its testing. Already, the tests are expected to go on for several months.

My advice?

If your following is primarily on Facebook right now, work to transfer it off of this network and onto your email list or website. The split-feed Facebook might not come to fruition just yet, but we do know that Facebook is working to address user concerns about seeing more from family and friends, according to an article by Adam Mosseri – the head of the Facebook News Feed.

Know this:

If Facebook doesn’t update the News Feed by splitting up personal and commercial posts, that doesn’t mean that pages are safe. Facebook will find a way to respond to user concerns, meaning that they will once again slash organic reach for pages. This will also be likely to have an effect on ad bidding as well, increasing competition amongst advertisers.

Falling out of Favor: The Facebook Story

Eventually, we know that most social media networks end up getting replaced. While Facebook remains #1 for now, we’ve already seen that younger people are using the platform less and less, favoring networks like Instagram and Snapchat.

The only adequate response that Facebook can have for this is to make improvements. If they’re hearing that their audience does not approve of the way that the News Feed is now, then they are forced to adapt.

Of course, adapting does come with an added benefit. It’s easy to assume that more and more ad dollars will be spent by brands that are desperate to continue on appearing in the Facebook News Feed.

But what will this mean for small businesses?

Many can’t afford to advertise every single post that they produce. The implications of this could result in small businesses being hit harder than anyone else.

Perhaps Facebook will allow users to opt-in to seeing certain pages in their primary timeline. Maybe the “Explore” feed won’t be as bad as it sounds…

Whatever the case, remember this: there’s nothing better than driving your audience towards a platform that’s your own. Work towards making your website a great place for people to visit.

If you’re looking for help doing just that, give us a call today.

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