Facebook trialling exclusion of non-promoted posts from news feeds

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Social media sites help brands better connect with their audience, allowing them to share news, products and promotions to increase engagement with their brand. Facebook and Twitter are the main players — and according to recent developments, one is set to change dramatically.

Facebook is currently testing a major change in six countries which will see non-promoted posts from commercial channels moved out of a user’s main news feed. The shift will see a user’s news feed only featuring content from friends and paid-for advertisements.

Worryingly, reports from the countries tested suggest that the impact of these changes is huge, with some publications reporting between a 60% and 80% reduction in user engagement. This has the potential to be incredibly detrimental for smaller publications, which may not have the budget to sponsor each of their social posts. If the reach of the posts is so reduced, the move has the potential to drive smaller publications away from the platform.

Although the split news feed is currently only being tested in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka, many are concerned that the changes will be rolled out on a global scale. However, in reaction to these worries, Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s News Feed Executive, said:

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further. There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. “

Creating a successful Facebook ad campaign

While Facebook may claim that these tests will not be rolled out just yet, it does underline the importance of having an effective ad campaign in place, in order to maximise your brand’s reach on the platform. Here aresome tips:

  • Utilise Audience Insights — make informed decisions on who you target with Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, which lets you better understand your target audience’s interests and how you can reach them effectively. This means you can better use your budget to meet your aims.
  • Set a bid strategy and budget — and stick to it! Using Optimized CPM, you can define the goals and set limits to avoid overspending.
  • Capture attention with striking imagery — don’t let users scroll past your post; include well-designed ads with less than 20% text for maximum impact.
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