The New Facebook Newsfeed

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News, Small Business | Posted on Mar 07, 2013

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New Facebook Newsfeed

“This Newsfeed… is designed for the way that we’re all sharing today and the trends we see going forward.”Mark Zuckerberg

How will Facebook’s new Newsfeed Affect Businesses?

Following today’s announcement, many have been speculating on the direction Facebook’s new Newsfeed feature will take and how it will affect small businesses. Here, we’ll break down the new format and let you know what you’ll need to be focusing on when the changes take effect later this year.

First, let’s be clear that Facebook has not directly addressed any features other than Newsfeed (there was speculation of Page changes, but no such luck). It’s possible that there will be more changes to come, but there hasn’t been any official confirmation as of yet. The Newsfeed feature will be rolled out on Desktop over the next few days and on Mobile for several weeks after that. For now, we’ll focus on what we know.

Choice of Feeds

In what is probably the most dramatic change made to Newsfeed, users will now be able to filter the feed based on the source of the information and the format of the content. For example, a person could choose to filter their feed based on photos posted by their friends, effectively eliminating status updates, events, videos, and all other irrelevant material from their visible Newsfeed.

How does this affect companies? It doesn’t. Facebook’s revenue depends on businesses advertising with them, so they’ve been sure to include Pages as default sources for all filter types; users will still have access to your posts and updates in all the places that they normally would.

Facebook has also added a special filter for Pages titled “Follow”. According to their official announcement, it’s “a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.” This is essentially a business-only feed which will group popular entertainment sources like movies, music, and television with posts from commercial businesses. Facebook has also parried the more recent accusations of limiting Post views by assuring that this feed will feature ALL Posts from every page that the user follows. How often this filter gets used is, of course, dependent on the user, but it bodes well for Page exposure and Reach.

Why Now?

This change comes in the wake of a popular theory that the popularity of web services, and especially Social Media, is dependent on ease-of-use. By making the product more accessible and accommodating, Facebook is hoping to ensure that users will continue to favor their product over competitors like Google+, Tumblr, and Myspace* well into the future.

This trend of accessibility is especially evident in Facebook’s approach to the new Newsfeed: During their portion of the announcement, the Facebook Developers revealed that they had designed the new navigation features and layout by starting with a Mobile platform and working backwards to the desktop. There’s nowhere that we need ease-of-access more than on our phones, so this was an excellent strategy, and one that we’ll probably see more of as big-name companies become increasingly dependent on Mobile.

The Future

As usual, this is Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. Facebook needs to cater to businesses in order to survive, so we can be sure that they believe this is a good move. Personally, I think they’ve approached both the concern of ease-of-use and the problem of Page exposure quite effectively. I think businesses will start to see more exposure as the format is rolled out over the next few days, and I think both users and advertisers will find utility in the new functions. More than anything, I’m excited to see where Facebook takes it from here.

You can sign up for the Newsfeed waiting list here: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed

Be sure to follow our blog for more Facebook news and analysis, and check out our previous breakdowns, Facebook Announces Graph Search and How to Get the Most out of Your Facebook Advertisements.

*Speaking of Myspace, watch the video of Facebook’s presentation for a shoutout to Justin Timberlake, one of Myspace’s owners. Mentioning how awesome one of your (former) competitors is in your press conference? That’s cold, dude.

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