New changes in how Facebook shows users newsfeeds

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Who knows best what content users of social media want to see? According to Facebook in statements accompanying the roll out of their latest news feed update, users themselves.

“We know that ultimately you’re the only one who truly knows what is most meaningful to you and that is why we want to give you more ways to control what you see,” said Facebook’s product manager Jacob Frantz.

“Today we are announcing even better tools for you to actively shape and improve the experience. We’ve redesigned and expanded Facebook’s News Preferences to give you more control.”

With the new algorithm, Facebook users will choose their own top 30 friends or pages. This will leave all the others further below when users check their newsfeeds.

For businesses, this could be boon or misfortune, according to social media expert Dionne Lew, whose remarks were reported by SmartCompany. “I think this is a really good change to the algorithm,” said Lew.

“People have been unhappy about the decline in reach as a result of the changes with the last news feed update and there’s been general unhappiness — from people using it personally, but also businesses who have seen a significant decline in organic reach.”

The companies that have the best relationships with their customers will have the best chances of rising to the top in the new newsfeed, Lew predicted.

“It’s going to work really well for those brands who’ve put the effort into building relationships.”

In order to get prioritized, though, businesses on Facebook may need to ask for it.

“For some brands it might be appropriate to ask directly for some people to prioritize them,” said Lew.

“But it’s a bigger ask. When it was a click of a button [to like a page] it was just click and off you go. But what you’re saying here is we know you have limited space and you’re actually going to have to find that option in your settings. It’s not something that’s as easy as clicking a button – it needs to be a more thoughtful ask and you need to give them a bit of a reason and a call to action.”

By Andy Stern