Facebook Testing Out A Dual Newsfeed
How would you feel if you had the option to switch between multiple newsfeeds on Facebook – one that exclusively had your friends’ posts and the other your news content? Facebook is currently testing this option out in select countries, which has raised some questions on how business pages will be affected by the possible change.
The Guardian reported that Facebook is testing out the new system in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka. The new approach shifts all non-promoted business posts to a secondary feed, which leaves the main feed filled only with original content from friends and advertisements.
The move is a controversial one particularly because of its impact on small publishers and even larger ones who heavily rely on their website visitors transferring over from social media. During the trial, the publications have even reportedly seen a 60-80% fall in user engagement. Additionally, 60 of the largest Facebook pages in Slovakia saw ⅔ to ¾ of their reach disappear within the first few days of the test.
The change however, does not seem to impact promoted posts. Those still appear in the primary newsfeed.
A senior research analyst at Enders Analysis, Matti Littunen, was interviewed for the Guardian piece and stated the move was “the classic Facebook playbook: first give lots of organic reach to one content type, then they have to pay for reach, then they can only get through to anyone by paying.”
He also added that “premium” publishers had anticipated this trend and backed off relying too much on social media. However, newer media companies that rely on social media to bring in traffic and therefore revenue, would be critically impacted by the move.
“The biggest hits will be to the likes of Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Business Insider, who create commoditized content aiming for the biggest reach.”
Others speculate that the test won’t be a success because a newsfeed without news will get boring for users.
So how does this affect your Facebook business page?
The CWS team is continuing to keep a close eye on any further developments in these trials and whether they expand trials to other countries.
So the good news is that right now, it doesn’t affect your Facebook page in any way, shape or form.
Were Facebook to decide to roll this system out, it would likely mean putting aside more budget for Facebook advertising if pertinent to you.
In a recent statement issued by Facebook, the social media giant noted, “We have no current plans to roll this out globally.”