How the New Test on Facebook News Feed can Impact Small Businesses

For those who rely heavily on Facebook Pages to promote their business may soon find their organic reach to decline further in the future. Just recently, Facebook announced that they are rolling out some changes on its news feed by separating Page posts from personal updates. This test is done to six countries: Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.

This move could potentially prompt more brands to increase their ad spending. Non-ad page posts will relocate from the ordinary news feed to the Explore news feed. However, Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed clarified that this test is not final since they have no plans to roll them out further.

New Facebook News Feed: Less Organic Reach

In the old news feed, one can find posts from different sources; combining posts from Pages along with those from friends. Under this test, the Pages’ and friends’ posts will have their own separate news feeds. So, to be able to penetrate the personal feed, one may need to pay to promote there.

Take note that Explore feed on these six countries is a different version from the one most users on the platform currently have. The latter curates popular posts from Pages that a user doesn’t follow, based on content that’s relevant to them.

This move saw a decrease in referral traffic for Pages from these countries with sixty Slovak media outlets experiencing 4x lesser social interactions from their Pages. As to how long this test will last, Mosseri tweeted a reply to Medium journalist, Filip Struhárik, that it will likely take months since people normally take time to adapt to change.

slovak media facebook news feed stats
Facebook Interactions based on 60 Slovak media FB Pages since the Explore news feed test

How Will This Impact Your Brand?

From a business perspective, this means that businesses have to pour more money into Facebook ads.  This may prove to be disastrous for companies that count on Facebook for traffic and leads. More so for small businesses who don’t have a huge budget for advertising.  On the contrary, this won’t have any major effect on users. This will only make their friends’ post more visible from now on.

It’s no secret that Facebook is known to experiment with different things on its platform. This news feed change helped them to improve user experience by connecting people to stories that matter to them. The redesign is part of their overall goal to maintain the integrity of information published on Facebook by reducing the spread of misinformation, sensationalism, and clickbait or any posts that do not adhere to their Community Standards.

The success of these news feed will entirely depend on how people will react to these changes. This could also mean that we will be seeing fewer links from news outlets. This may help curb the growing proliferation of fake news and hoax stories on social media.

While Facebook has proven to be a great source of traffic for some brands, it would be really naive of us to believe that these traffic growth can be sustainable for a long time. Their aim was always to understand their users better and provide an enriching platform for them. Therefore we recommend brands to diversify their marketing strategy.  Make sure to utilize other digital channels that can provide a better chance at reach their target audience.

So, now back to you. What are your thoughts on this new test on Facebook on news feed? Are you currently affected by them? Share them in the comments below.