Facebook Is Changing to Prioritise ‘Meaningful’ Interactions

In a status update posted on January 12, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing to prioritise ‘meaningful interactions’.

Zuckerberg states that he feels a ‘responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s wellbeing’.

As a response to people complaining that posts from their connections are being drowned out by advertising, Zuckerberg says that the first changes will occur in the news feed where ‘you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups’.

‘The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,’ Zuckerberg goes on to say.

‘On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.’

He states that the changes will be ‘major’ and lead to a short-term drop in engagement and time spent on the network, but that it will overall benefit users and businesses in the long term.

Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, went on to elaborate upon Zuckerberg’s statement in his own blog post.

‘Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed,’ he writes.

‘Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.’

So what does this actually mean for brands?

‘Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses,’ states Mosseri.

Those who still wish to see posts from their favourite brands may continue to do so. News Feed options will allow users to prioritise the Pages and friends they are most interested in following.

This means that in order for your followers to choose to see the content you’re producing (organically, at least), you’ll need to lift your game. Brands will need to create engaging content to incite meaningful conversation that will see posts get to the top.

Sponsored posts and ads are unlikely to be affected by this change, so your digital marketing strategy won’t have to change too much — as long as you’re willing to keep dishing out the dollars.