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New Facebook News Feed Update is Good for Users, But Could Affect Traffic of Publishers

( [email protected] ) Jun 30, 2016 11:57 AM EDT
Facebook has once again released an update to improve the interface of its News Feed feature. Although the update is geared towards improving how users see posts of their contacts, it could decrease the traffic for publishers and page owners.
Computer screens display the Facebook sign-in screen in this photo illustration taken in Golden, Colorado, United States July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Facebook has once again released an update to improve the interface of its News Feed feature. Although the update is geared towards improving how users see posts of their contacts, it could decrease the traffic for publishers and page owners.

Lars Backstrom, the engineering director of Facebook, explained through the social media platforms Newsroom that the new update is all about connecting people. Since this is what Facebook is mainly about, the algorithm of the News Feed feature has been tweaked in order to prioritize the posts, photos, stories and other content uploaded by close contacts.

In other words, through the new update, the News Feed of users will no longer be filled by articles, videos and other posts made by publishers. Instead, posts from personal contacts will be ranked higher through the algorithm.

"Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family," Backstrom stated. "As we say in our News Feed values, that is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to - starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook."

"We previously made an update that tries to ensure that stories posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss them," he continued.

The News Feed, however, will still display content made by publishers but these will probably be buried below the updates from personal contacts. This could then lead to a decrease in traffic for publishers since the chances of users seeing their content will be reduced.

In order to get around this, Facebook suggests posting content that are interesting and relevant for users in order to capitalize on the likes and share functions.

"Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages," Backstrom noted. "The specific impact on your page's distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience."

Tags : Facebook Update, Facebook News Feed, Facebook Algorithm, Content Traffic, Facebook Page, Facebook Publishers, Content Publishers, Facebook Friends, Facebook Contacts