Facebook just announced that they plan to make a series of changes to their news feed algorithm so that it favors content posted by the friends and family of users as opposed to pages and businesses. With 1.65 billion users checking Facebook every month, this change can greatly affect media sites that rely on Facebook to drive traffic to their websites. This update will affect all types of content posted by publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. This will cause a large drop in reach and referral traffic for publishers whose audience comes primarily through content posted by their official Facebook page.
With this change, Facebook has made it clear that showcasing content posted by friends is a top priority. While some Facebook users may be happy from this news, others are sure to be bummed that they could be missing out on relevant news from some of their favorite publishers. One positive note, however, is that this update will have less of an effect on articles and videos posted by friends.
With this update in the process of rolling out, it is interesting to see how our feeds will be adjusted in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully we will be gaining more information instead of missing out.