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The Decline of Facebook News Feed and the Rise of Facebook Messenger for Businesses

What’s happening with Facebook? Over the years Facebook has moved away from its original realm as a personal networking platform to that of a business site being one of the world’s largest distributors of news and online ads.

Well, all of that is about to change. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will make changes to the social network algorithm and the News Feed to allow more user-to-user interaction. The goal is to bring Facebook “Closer Together”. The News Feed will start showing fewer news articles from Facebook pages, less marketing content and ads. Instead, users will start seeing more vacation videos from their friends, photos of their nephew’s college graduation, and other more family-friendly posts about the people they know and care about.

The new changes for business pages mean:

  1. Most Page-to-User posts will no longer show up on News Feed

  2. Posts that have more meaningful comments from users will be promoted

  3. Posts from businesses with call to actions to like and comment will be penalised

How will Businesses and Advertisers be Affected

Online advertisers and businesses that distribute marketing through the News Feed will face challenges over the next few weeks.

“Facebook has clearly put a stake in the ground that user experience is more important than the brands that pay them,” HubSpot’s senior product marketing manager Marcus Andrews said in a statement. “By making this shift they clearly prioritised one over the other, and are potentially a bit nervous about the current (really negative) narrative about the negative impact of social media on society.”

Businesses could end up buying more online ads on Facebook to promote themselves, because simply creating content and attempting to share it on the News Feed for free will no longer work as well as it once did.

The most innovative and potentially more successful solution to reach users on Facebook is to be on Messenger. With the power to reach 100% of audiences we could also see the rise of Facebook Messenger being used as a marketing tool. Many businesses are already using this platform to answer customer questions but this is only scratching the surface as it offers much more. You can perform complete marketing campaigns (including newsletters and product updates). What makes it even more powerful is that Messenger is all about interaction. While people read and occasionally like a post on their News Feed, they use Messenger to interact.

The Messenger platform can also enable businesses to automate this interaction by building chatbots. Many businesses could start moving in this direction during 2018. They could start automating their interaction with customers on Facebook Messenger and use it to run their marketing campaigns.

But, will this bring a new problem for Facebook where users may not welcome businesses populating their Messenger channel with advertising? Only time will tell.

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