The newest changes made to Facebook have been getting a lot of mixed reviews from users everywhere. Facebook aims to engage its users with new features such as the ticker and the selected top stories depending on their “interests.” While the ticker shows users every move made by any of their friends throughout their network, the updated newsfeed pulls stories, posts, and photos that Facebook believes would be most valuable to you. On the Facebook blog, they compare the newsfeed to reading the first page of a newspaper; what matters most will be shown first. How does this have an impact on the businesses that have created a buzz on Facebook?
Depending on how interactive a person is with your brand on Facebook, your business page may rank first in their newsfeed. Every post by a Facebook user gives you the option to subscribe to all of their updates, most updates, or only important ones. Additionally, you can mark any post as a top story, and this is where business pages come into play. When a user chooses to mark one of your posts as a top story, this notification pops up:
This is now a top story. We’ll try to put more stories like this at the top of your News Feed.
If your business page is well liked, this could be an advantage for your company. On the other hand, if you post too much and your fans do not want to see your updates, they can choose to hide all of your material.
The ticker is a feature that resembles the functionality of Twitter, with live updates constantly streaming through your newsfeed. This raw and unfiltered stream of events has its benefits for business pages. On the old Facebook, your business page may have ranked low or may have been hidden, but the ticker is giving fan pages an opportunity to get their messages across. The ticker may be frustrating at times, but it is keeping the posts and updates from businesses alive.
Differences in Fan Pages
Beginning on September 30th, Facebook will no longer allow automatic RSS imports to their fan pages. What does this mean? Businesses will have to manually publish their articles and create some sort of personal message for their fans. This may be more work for companies, but it does open the door for greater relationship marketing.
If you look at any company page right now, you may notice a new feature under the profile picture called “Friend Activity.” Under this tab, a feed will pull up any interactions between people in your friends network and the company. I can look at Progressive Media Concepts and see all the posts my friends have shared, liked and commented on, in addition to any company mentions. This is a great new feature that will hopefully prompt and influence users to do as their friends are doing and start sharing content.
The goal of these new Facebook features is to ensure users never miss something of importance and to increase user engagement. How do you feel about the changes Facebook has made over the past week? What do you like and what do you dislike? Please feel free to leave your comments below!
Oh, and if you think that Facebook has made too many changes, check out what’s coming next… the profile timeline.