Facebook's practical joke on publishers
We really shouldn't jest. It's the biggest overhaul Facebook's algorithm has seen in ages, impacting all publishers on the Facebook feed targeting our reads, view, impressions, shares and likes. Facebook is de-prioritising news on its feed, in favour of the fluffy stuff we all like: our friends' babies, dogs, emotional statuses, recommendations, Premier League induced rage, and the like.
Zuck is looking to make FB a bit more wholesome, and distance itself from fake news – this is probably good, although some of us are slightly irked that they have the power to unilaterally decide what goes on our feed but hey, let's be grateful. But what about the poor publishing execs and Facebook's viral promise land of impressions on steroids? Understandably, there's a little bit of vitriol going around.
But Facebook's market cap has taken a real hit – 25 billion dollars is no small number – and we still have nothing nice to say about it? Brands and publishers are seeing opportunities too, aiming to put out more meaningful content which doesn't just feed into the shares/likes/traffic loop. Gen Z publications launched after the Facebook honeymoon period finished, like the impressively creative, if righteously radical, The Outline, are saying this could free journalists from the pressure of share numbers and traffic targets. No one likes those…