The Social Media Giant is experimenting a new feature with their Australian users which could further make things difficult for brands and businesses who have put all their marketing eggs in the social basket. This change in Facebook News Feed might just change the ball game.
Online publications have previously been hurt by Facebook’s assignment of priority to posts from friends and family and then by Facebook’s efforts to eliminate clickbaiting on their platform, both of which eroded website visits and referrals for businesses and publications.
Now discussing the update at hand, Facebook users Down Under were greeted with an notification by the social media giant stating, ‘There’s a new way to see a stream of stories that focus on a specific topic’, both on desktop and mobile applications. It was soon picked up and reported by Mashable.
A new selection of default broad topics, namely Politics, Travel, TV and Movies, Animals and Pets, and Relationships etc have been introduced to the Facebook News Feed specifically for users in Australia.
Users can add, remove or edit topics based on their interests, and upon selecting the broad category, it prompts you to select a few sub topics as shown below. A similar feature is available on the trending tab for Facebook.
Upon selecting the categories and sub categories, Facebook sorts out posts from the said categories granting users additional control over what they want to see on their News Feeds.
Although it is not yet clear as to how Facebook is assigning tags or a category identity posts, or whether they are doing it themselves i.e, the algorithm or if they are asking brands to specify the niche categories.
It can be safe to assume that brands will face more complications trying to amplify their reach on Facebook with users exercising control over what they want to see on their News Feeds. Already a difficult task, emerging from the ocean of posts on Facebook and leaving an impression on the minds of Facebook users, with their famous short attention spans.
For brands initially the challenge was to create and manage a formidable presence on Facebook. Then came the onus to create engaging content for grabbing the attention of aforementioned audience. And now being presented with the third challenge, brands will have to wade through categories and sub categories to pop up on Facebook News Feed across the world. This might as well simplify efforts for brands who know the themes which appeal to their audience. With the feature in test mode, it will be too early to comment on the ramifications of this update. Till then, let’s just wait and watch the space!