Procurement · 12 January 2018

Facebook news feed changes will mean less traffic and reach for business pages

Facebook will be updating its ranking system over the coming months
Facebook will be updating its ranking system over the coming months

Facebook has confirmed it will show users less content published by businesses, brands and media, with imminent news feed changes set to prioritise posts by friends and family instead.

In an official blog post published by the social media heavyweight, Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook news feed, revealed ranking updates were due to take place over the coming months which would reduce the traffic and impact of posts from business profiles.

“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” Mosseri announced.

Facebook has become a key advertising platform for small business owners, who have dedicated significant marketing budgets to reach potential customers in a crowded online advertising environment.

The latest announcement will make it even more difficult for growing brands to bring Facebook users to their page and grow a community.

As Facebook starts to reduce the influence of brand pages, find out how Twitter can promote your business

In a separate post, founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed negative user feedback would see “posts from businesses, brands and media” deprioritised in favour of “personal moments”.

Mosseri added that content which generated conversation between users, such as live videos, would continue to rank highly on the Facebook news feed, and warned “engagement-bait” used to goad people into commenting would be demoted.

“Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues,” he said.

“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

The news feed changes follow comments made by Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive, in November 2017 which critisised the ethical impact of the platform.

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth,” Palihapitiya told an audience at Stanford Business school.

Read Zuckerberg’s full post below

Find out everything you need to know about using Facebook as a small business owner

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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