Facebook – my quick take on the newer news feed

facebook screenshot

I watched the livestream of the big Facebook announcement today, and I must say, I was really surprised that the last guy that spoke was not wearing a hoodie.

That being said, everything else was very Facebooky.  A relatively informal presentation, but with big hitting information.

I am absolutely not reporting on what changes were discussed.  I leave that to the Mashable and TechCrunch’s of the world.  However, I did want to share some of my very quick takeaways.  These are my initial thoughts before ever actually using the new newsfeed, so take it for what it’s worth.

  • It’s all about evolving, and doing that with stories.   The most prominent way to tell these stories on Facebook?  Photos.  Other media like videos.  Third party shares from sites like Pinterest…and a slew of others excluding Vine.   Facebook recognizes what people are doing on Facebook.  I can tell you with complete confidence that nothing kills it on Facebook (in my industry) like an awesome photo.  Nothing else comes close.   This is good news for those that want more visually pleasing stories from friends, but it’s also good news for brands.  Bigger, richer media is a big positive.   Of course, this means that brands will have to be even more creative to compete for that precious real estate.  As always but possibly even more now than ever – the best/highest virality content wins.
  • That precious real estate… from the sounds of it not a lot will change for brands immediately with the changes.  There will still be a main “Most Recent” newsfeed that includes everything under the sun, with all of the Facebook algorithms we all know and love to hate.  The curve ball here are the new separate newsfeeds that users can “switch” to.   Friends only.  Brands only.  Games only.  Whatever else only.  Will people use them?  If they do, and use them a lot, this will hurt brands and make it even moreso pay to play.  And even your ads will have to be more strategic to end up in the right feeds, correct targeting, you name it.  If people are lazy and still just use their main landing feed, things will probably stay pretty much the same.  That’s my guess.  I could be wrong – we’ll know as we use it, but that’s how it appears right now.  And I do think people will use the friends only feed.  Why not?  It’s very cool and gets rid of terrible brand posts telling you to “like this post if you love cats.”
  • Facebook is really obsessed with newspapers.
  • Ads will continue to play in the convergence arena, meaning that even though you’re paying for the reach, you still have to earn maximum reach with quality content within your ad.  The whole owned, earned, paid world on Facebook comes together and is eventually going to be what brands have to do be seen at all….  Apparently ads will be much bigger within the newsfeed which is great news.  But, while this works in brands’ favor, it also works against them.  People might get annoyed with the huge ads and start using those new feeds more and more, and inadvertently cut out brand content.   Catch 22 for brands in a way.  They’ll be chasing people around from feed to feed.
  • The overall concept with “everything is bigger” is very cool.  As a Facebook user it’s awesome and I’m really looking forward to it.  As a social marketer I’m kind of making the Jim Halpert face.   I think there are some really good things and some new challenges to overcome.  As always, keep feeding your communities real, great content that will keep them coming back.  That’s how you’ll win.   Brands will adapt.  We always do.  It’s how marketing is now.tumblr_mdaldqkTck1qgy27g

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