Facebook is constantly tweaking the algorithms that control what Instagram and Facebook users see in their feeds, and the social media giant just announced a major change that will affect the kinds of posts users see.
On Wednesday, June 29, Facebook announced that it will limit posts from Facebook pages and businesses in the News Feed, and users will instead see more posts from friends and family.
In a statement, Adam Mosseri, Vice President of Product Management, News Feed, wrote that “a billion people have joined Facebook, and today they share a flood of stories every day. That’s why stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends.”
Facebook’s messaging paints this decision as an altruistic endeavor to make their users happy, and it may well be, but the move also seems designed to boost Facebook’s advertising revenue. The digital marketing companies who rely on Facebook to generate traffic will now have to buy Facebook advertising if they want their posts to be seen.
Today, 70% of social media users follow or like at least one business, even followed businesses may not have their posts seen by users anymore.
According to Forbes writer Parul Guliani, it’s a “smart strategy on Facebook’s part — make media companies reliant on your platform by surfacing their content for free, and then snatch that away and make them pay for that same traffic.”
Whatever it may say, Facebook is a business, and the company makes billions on advertising dollars. In fact, together, Google and Facebook hold 55% of the U.S. digital advertising market and two-thirds of the mobile market as well.
With the latest News Feed change, Facebook is also poised to capitalize off the fastest growing segment of the market. Mobile video advertising is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2015 to at least $13.3 billion in 2020.
Mosseri also said, “Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period — you just have to scroll down.”