Marketers in Singapore unaffected by Facebook's New Feed tweak

Allan Goodman
January 16, 2018

On Jan. 11, the social media giant announced a massive algorithm shift that, according to Facebook's Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, will "prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people" and minimise the onslaught of news stories from brands and publishers. It's something Facebook had to do in order to keep people on the site for longer period of times and, of course, gave the social network a solid source of revenue in the process.

However, she also cautions against jumping the gun on the changes.

Facebook users contacted on Saturday said their news feeds - the list of posts you see right when you log into the Facebook webpage or load the social networking app - were dominated by posts from friends and family members.

That's more than the population of China and the USA combined.

Bank of America analyst Justin Post said in a research note that Facebook is moving towards becoming a social platform rather than a news outlet. Obama warned against splintering of the society because of the way people use social media.

The news feed isn't the only destination for marketers to advertise on Facebook.

"These businesses are hugely vulnerable to the whims of a third party, and that's not a position any business wants to find itself in", said Richard Broughton, research director of research firm Ampere Analysis.

By cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, the change could hurt news organizations and other businesses that rely on Facebook to share their content.

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If the stock closes at that level, it would be the biggest one-day decline since September and would shrink the company's market value by $23 billion, which is more than the total market value of rival Snap Inc, the owner of Snapchat. In this case, if you peg Facebook's complex algorithm against raw common sense, the latter will win hands down. The News Feed will become a premium placement, cost-wise, as the competition increases, and this will likely drive brands and companies to focus on the creative idea to stand out. As a brand, he added, OCBC is always looking to create valuable and engaging content for its customers and the public.

"It's the sites in the middle. they're the ones that are really stuck", Broughton said. And if they spend more time scrolling through them, Facebook gets to show them more ads.

Second, it's using news as a business model - so much so that shares fell as much as 6.1 percent this morning after the changes were announced. The changes come as Facebook faces criticism that social media can make people feel depressed and isolated. The coming changes to Facebook's news feed will require publishers to cross-pollinate their Facebook followers in other channels where content distribution is more complementary to their publishing goals.

"Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years" Zuckerberg writes.

And accusations that Facebook did not do enough to stop Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which Zuckerberg addressed past year.

Goh Theng Kiat, CMO of OCBC Bank said the move was a positive one by Facebook for the consumer.

In summary, Zuckerberg says he wants your Facebook feed to be a place where you share or view news from friends and associates.

But other researchers believe how people react to Facebook depends on their personality.

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