RIP Facebook news feed for publishers

RIP Facebook News Feed for Publishers

Facebook Declares They’re Cutting Off Businesses, Brands & Media from News Feed for Good

Earlier today, Facebook announced the end of the Facebook News Feed as we know it.

In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg today wrote: “recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments [from friends and family] that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Explaining however, that recently “video and other public content have exploded on Facebook … [and] since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.”

Zuckerberg even acknowledged mental health issues associated with the news feed stating: “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being…the research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

He then describes upcoming changes to the Facebook news feed designed to “[change] the news feed algorithm to surface relevant content that facilitates meaningful social interactions among your friends and family.”

Facebook determines which status updates you’ll see and in what order they appear in your news feed, by calculating an engagement ranking score for each post.

Currently, this algorithm optimizes for time-spent-on-site and looks at other engagement metrics such as “likes”, clicks, comments and shares of posts. They want you to be glued to Facebook, essentially.

Going forward, the weightings of signals in the news feed algorithm will change dramatically. Posts from family and friends will be much more prominent, and posts from publisher pages will be suppressed, possibly by as much as 5x..

As for the future of the Facebook news feed, Zuckerberg states users will see “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” and that he expects “the time people spend on Facebook … will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

Facebook Ads do not appear to be directly impacted by these changes, but it could cause changes in the supply and demand for ads, which impacts ad prices.

What do you think about the changes to the news feed pretty much everyone uses every day? Join the discussion here or on my Linkedin page.


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61 thoughts on “RIP Facebook News Feed for Publishers”

    1. facebook groups are alive and well, as are chatbots. (you can sign up for a trial by clicking on the “Sign Up For Free” button on the right!)

      1. Mary Kathryn Johnson

        Absolutely agree about the chatbots and mobile messaging! I suspect that will be the most effective way businesses can engage with their followers on FB unless people update the “notifications – all posts” or see an ad. Getting subscribers is the best way to ensure your business message is seen!

      2. Interesting news. I agree that chat bots are a great work around. I’m just starting to learn how to use them, and the success other people report is astounding.
        But, without NewsFeed ads, how will advertisers get people to their chatbot?
        I think chatbots are a great short term strategy, but Messenger ads are way more annoying than NewsFeed ads. I think users will rebel against them & stop using Messenger if they get too much.

        1. I ignore about 90% of the “Messenger” post. I don’t even bother to open them. Most are what I would consider chain letter material. The rest are spam or worse…. hackers. Messenger is totally useless. EVERY TIME FaceBook does one of it “Updates” the quality of FaceBook drops by leaps and bounds. I use to love FaceBook….. Now…. not so much. I’m hoping that some enterprising person or group will start up an improved site that will snatch up all us disappointed FaceBook members. If I mark someone as a friend or i follow a group or business, then I want to see EVERYTHING they post. I want my notifications to show “IN THE ORDER” that they were posted. In my humble opinion……. The richer Mark Z gets the less he cares about the people who have made him rich.

      3. Another area that’s worth considering is *Word-of-Mouth Marketing*, i.e. encouraging your customers to talk about your brand on social media.

        For example, you know how coffee shops encourage you to purchase from them? With rewards programs like, buy 9 coffees – get a 10th free?

        How about rewarding customers who share a #BrandedHashtag photo on Instagram, or check-in on Facebook?

        Simple brand ambassador software exists that automatically rewards customers when they complete social actions (like the examples above). It makes it easy for businesses to reward their brand advocates with additional loyalty credit, discounts, prizes, or even charity donations.

        Here’s an example of a how a coffee chain in Kentucky uses it.

        Full disclosure: I work for Popdeem, the company that has developed this software. This is not a plug – simply an attempt to make more people aware of it as an alternative strategy that complements this new update.

  1. Very interesting change, similar to Google though probably better in the long term for users and therefore inherently also for the advertisers be able to to keep advertising in a channel people want to use. Any idea if and how this may impact FB Ads?
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. you can still place ads in the news feed, but according to facebook, only posts from publishers that facilitate discussion among your friends and family will be seen in your newsfeed. one way that ads are impacted is that they expect people to spend less time on facebook, therefore that will mean fewer ad impression inventory to buy, which creates more competition and higher ad prices.

      1. Or conversely less ad revenue due to less impressions and some clients seeing better value elsewhere. Be interesting to see how it plays out.

  2. Wow. A really interesting change. It’s hard to believe they are doing this for the good of people at the expense of TOS or ad revenue though. Sounds like a spin.

      1. It was all worded so people only feel good intention. What will happen is that marketers who only publish organic ads (ads not boosted) will be pushed out of the marketplace on Facebook all together. Those who do pay for ad space will pay at a premium because as Larry has said, the competition will be fierce. This will be interesting to say the least.

        1. I have to agree with Tammy – when i read it the first thing I thought of was it seems focused on unpaid business content. Interested to see how this plays out.

    1. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
      He seems pretty honest to me 🙂

  3. It’s about time. Glad to to see Facebook doing something for their user’s well being instead of their pocketbook.

    1. this is totally about the pocketbook as it decreases ad inventory and increases advertiser competition. (less supply, more demand = higher advertising costs)

      1. Exactly! It’s definitely about the bottom line for Facebook. Small businesses who can’t compete with larger companies who, by the strength of the dollar, will have all the advertising power will be left to pivot their strategies entirely.

  4. Translation: If you want to reach your customers/audience through Facebook, bring your wallet. Twitter will follow. And from there, the others.

  5. Very bad, Let the user define their own experience?! No algorithm can determine what is best or optimal for each person. If I like? a business page that means I want to see their posts in my feed. As a user, I want to make those decisions for myself.

    1. there is a way to prioritize publisher content to be seen at the top of your news feed. but i doubt that many people know about this or will use it.

    2. I agree 100%. If I follow a business it’s because I want to see what they’re posting. This isn’t about Mark caring about anyone except for himself. By doing this they will force businesses to pay for advertising. It’s all about making more money.

    3. Punit, you will still see plenty of business page posts in your feed. The update basically is a fancy way of saying they are cracking down on “engagement bait”… they are no longer going to reward posts’ reach based on “number of comments” anymore… but the quality of REAL CONVERSATIONS… so no more “drop an emoji below” and “if you want my free thing, type YAY below” bullcrap. Those posts will not get reach because of the superficial engagement… but posts with REAL back and forth conversations will get more and more and more reach.

  6. wow, good they decided they made enough money, so they stop advertisment on our news feed
    Thank You Mark Zukerberg <3

    1. This is the exact opposite. They are going to make more money off of this change. Don’t be fooled. You will still see ads. They just aren’t going to let businesses advertise for free anymore. Mega companies don’t do things for the good of the people. Every strategy is about making money.

  7. What about small independent businesses? Artisans and crafters rely heavily on likes from friends and family to help boost their reach.

    1. i think the smaller the company the less impacted they are, for the reasons you state. going forward, content engagement from friends that spark conversation will be prioritized. the big brands/publishers are doomed.

      1. Big brands aren’t doomed. They are the ones that will thrive bc they have the pockets to do it. Small business will take the hit.

      2. I rely soley on page mentions from friends and family…
        I’ve not spent a lot of $$$ on FB ads, therefore I personally know practically every person who has ever “liked” my FB page…

  8. For almost as long as I’ve been using it, the Facebook news feed has had customization features. So if those posts from Oreo are making you feel lonely, you can hide them. I don’t understand why Mark feels the need to filter things out for us. If I want to know what a company I like is up to, I should be able to see that without jumping through any hoops!

    1. Well, it’s Mark’s playground, so he makes all the rules.

      Here’s a novel idea everyone; stop using Facebook so much.

      1. Caring Hearts for Horses

        Exactly why my nonprofit is getting back to email marketing, newsletters, and using YouTube for our videos.

  9. As an advertiser, I don’t like it. As a consumer, I’m secretly glad, however, why can’t they just let us choose what we want to see? There are plenty of brands and public content that I do want to see, and don’t really want to have to look outside my newsfeed to find it. The decisions the algorithm makes currently about what and who’s posts I want to see is already, IMO, not very accurate. So how about let us choose for ourselves. For a brand to be followed, they have to post relevant content that is interesting to consumers or we should be able to, individually, decide not to follow them, just like we can with Friends. That feature is already there, it just defaults to Follow when you like a page. So turn that off, let each person decide for themselves what and who they want to see, and call it a day. As much as I use Facebook to connect with my friends and family, it also expands our potential connection to people and groups we wouldn’t know existed otherwise. If they disappear, that opportunity is gone.

  10. What did everyone do before FB? It’s not the be all and end all. No-one died. For goodness’ sake everyone, get a grip.

  11. Or conversely less ad revenue due to less impressions and some clients seeing better value elsewhere. Be interesting to see how it plays out.

  12. I’m not believing this as I give Facebook a ton of money to promote my business adds to people. Seeing is believing, so when I get a notification about it I will believe it. Facebook isn’t just for people to connect. A huge portion of their existence is off of businesses paying them money to promote their business…… so not sure how Facebook would continue to make a profit?

  13. this is interesting – but I personally follow more pages than I do people (specifically … dogs/pugs pages) because I got sick of the ridiculous bullshit that people post – and especially for FB “FRIENDS” that I haven’t seen in “years” … I am wondering what my newsfeed will look like … probably … blank! 🙁

  14. Small businesses are not safe. Just look at how “they” control your sales on FB. Notice you’re forced to accept returns within 45 days? Not all products can have that allowance attached. An indirect way to control the income of others. FB is merely good for advertising/gaining exposure-IF you’re big enough.

    Big brands, etc should be removed from advertising as they can afford other ways to do so. Shopping small & local is another way of bringing communities together.

    FB already controls who sees what. Over 2000 likes etc and maybe 20 people who have actually liked the page are exposed. It takes the sharing process to gain the exposure element.

  15. As a small business owner, photographer, this will hurt my business I believe. They already limit how many people see my post and want me to pay to advertise. Which would be nice if I could afford to do so, but I can’t. So I guess my business will take a hit. I’m not at all happy about this. I do understand, most of my feed is businesses and from groups so I do get where they are coming from, but as a business owner this is going to hurt.

  16. This is simple 101 marketing/business strategy and I warned people about this for a long time, but they would not listen…

    1) market Facebook as the place to be close to your fans for businesses
    2) businesses start using Facebook rls instead of their own website in marketing, because of some false-impression that there is higher value it giving up control of your traffic from a decentralized setup (the web) to a completely centralized and controlled setup (Facebook)
    3) once there is no more turning back and companies loose most of their web traffic to Facebook, force companies to pay money to keep their traffic (Facebook ads)

    Sad outcome but I told many people those oils happen…

  17. In the last year, I’ve deleted my Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    I couldn’t care less what the hell these people do anymore, and anxiously await the day when the laws of economics come crashing home like a shovel to the face.

  18. To the people who think FB is losing revenue – no, that’s NOT true. What they are doing is forcing all companies to pay for ads. No longer will companies’ posts receive organic rankings and visitors – now everything needs to be paid. They also punish you for posting too much – in groups, for example, even if the group is not yours – if they think you’re trying to garner revenue without paying for FB ads. IOW this is totally about revenue for Zuckerberg and not at all about what’s good for FB users.

    IOW if a small company was once able to get by with having an FB page and not a blog on its site – those days are gone now. You will need to draw visitors to your site via Google ranking, quality content, etc. and not rely just on FB.

    1. So, does this mean that if I like reading articles and getting my news from certain sites, that’s no longer going to be in my feed? I’m going to have to go to those sites to read articles?

      I appreciate the sentiment (about people interacting more) but in my opinion that ship has sailed. For the last 5 years people haven’t really interacted on Facebook except to click like on pictures of other people’s kids.

      I have always wondered why we can’t have 2 feeds. One would be a friend feed. The other would be a news feed.

  19. People have to remember that Facebook is a business, nothing in life is actually FREE. They make money through advertising, so the best way to increase revenue is to make your content have 0 value without having it become a paid advertisement. This will do 2 things in my opinion, it will make people who are advertising or testing their ads, ramp up their efforts and eliminate the businesses that are their because they think it’s for free.

  20. They should give small business a leg up… I’m an artist and have a fan page (as it was intended to gather fans) everyone on my home page has connected to it, but they never see my artwork unless I share it to my homepage…. It’s exhausting all I want to do is paint, Starving artists like myself can’t afford pay-per post… some have left business pages and made artist home pages and the constant feel of rejection (maybe they just didn’t like it) I have run tests… is not my fan base but fb holding my posts down while aggressively boasting paid corp/ big business as well as disconnecting my fan notifications. when new fans sign up that feature is not automatic. Just so hard to continue to do what you love… when you can’t pay, and marketing is not your knowledge know how… it should be easier… it’s 2018… fb sign up page says “It’s free and Always will be” just not for small business…. 7 years and my reach can only get under 1100 fans…. and I bust my ass…. FB’s gonna do Whatever FB’s gonna do…. but at the end of the day I want to Quit because that’s how frustrating this is…

  21. I am not willing to do the Chicken Little mentality.

    I am sure that, as a small business, I’ll find a way to continue to reach our growing customer base. I look to Facebook as an ally in the marketplace, and it’s my intent to stay one step ahead of the behemoth businesses and continue to grow our niche and our space within that small space.

    Admittedly, I’m not happy that Mr Zuckerberg has decided that we have a new challenge to overcome, but I’m confident that I’ll come up with a solution that lets my team keep their creative jobs.

    Like anything else, change is inevitable and we are stronger than anything Facebook can do to us. it’s not that I’m cocky, it’s that I don’t have any other choice.

    Serving my customers, my employees, and the creative small businesses,
    Matt Beaudoin
    Mystic Knotwork

  22. I think this is a very bad idea there are some of us that rely on newsfeed for our business so is there going to be something else created so that our posts don’t get missed??

  23. Interesting. The overwhelming amount of business, media, and junk content that showed up on my personal feed is what made me give up Facebook for personal use altogether a while back. Any thoughts on if/how this might affect demand for alternative “organic” digital marketing services like SEO now that organic social media efforts for businesses and brands may be fruitless?

  24. I would like to add some comments:

    * People use Facebook not just for keeping up with friends, but sourcing information on their favourite brands – sourcing new product releases, product feedback & support, other people’s reviews ….. this change kills this research …..
    * Facebook is a terrific opportunity for companies to interact directly with their customer base – this will change ….
    * A business page is more than just spruiking a brand, its about what the company does outside of the sales component … look at a lot of businesses and see how many small businesses show pics of their families, what they do outside of business hours, etc ….
    * Charities? my love the cat protection society and the RSPCA? Homeless charities? Offering good news stories? Now at an end? Very unfair – Facebook is a great channel for pushing their message out to the community ….

    Think about this …..

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