5 Implications Of The New Facebook News Feed

Last week, my colleague Bill Miltenberg took an insightful look at what Facebook’s redesigned news feed might mean for PR pros. Going forward, news feeds will feature larger image sizes. That’s great for a visual medium.  Also important is the standardization of the feed across Web and mobile platforms. But perhaps the most important new element is the ability to drill down into topic-specific feeds, such as music, or photography, or sports.

For communicators, this simultaneously represents a new opportunity to strengthen messages, and also a new social media skill to learn. So a recent report on Socialfresh.com from Adam Rosenberg, an account supervisor at Edelman Digital, that offered five implications of the new feed for businesses, provided valuable lessons for PR pros—the people whom businesses rely on to tell their stories. Here are Rosenberg’s five implications, abbreviated, with some commentary from PR News. Check out the report on Social Fresh for the full blurbs.

1. Your Page’s Performance Will Not Be Impacted (yet)

The new system does not affect the delivery algorithm for the news feed. Since it’s only being rolled out to a small percentage at first, the overall performance of organic and paid content should not be affected, Social Fresh reports. Facebook will be assessing this as this is it rolls out.

Takeaway: For PR specialists, the next few weeks will be valuable time for learning the new Facebook and experimenting in controlled environments.


2. Cover Photos And High Quality Images Are A MUST

While the changes make good photos look even better in the News Feed, they’ll also make poor-quality photos look even worse, Rosenberg said.

Takeaway: Be more aware than ever about the quality of materials you put on your Facebook page that represent your brand. One fuzzy photo erodes a whole lot of goodwill and trust.


3. Text Overlay and Image Descriptions

Some photo page posts may have the image caption/description appear on top of the image, creating new graphics possibilities, but also perhaps some complications.

Takeaway: Keep it simple and remember user clarity is the most important objective, not cutting-edge and visually risky graphics.


4. Potential for More Engagement Opportunities

Brand content can appear in multiple feeds (such as the “Photos,” “Recent News,” and “Following” Feeds) – not just the default News Feed.

The increase in user control over content streams provides more opportunities for a fan to see a brand’s content. Overall, Social Fresh said, the feed filters provide more incentive for fans to stay on Facebook longer.

Takeaway: Start thinking about new ways to engage in an organic manner on vertical feeds.


5. More Options for Ads

Photos already generate clicks and engagement and now will be even more eye-catching, Rosenberg concluded. Ads will have much richer visual components with a larger “like page” button, the “hide” button is also much more prominent and could result in many user’s clicking the wrong button during a campaign.

Takeaway: Ad (and message) targeting is pretty good on Facebook already. This takes it to another level entirely.