The New Facebook News Feed – Power to the Fan and the Return of RSS
Today Facebook announced its most significant redesign of the News Feed in many years. When the changes roll out over the next few weeks, you can will see three enhancements – a greater emphasis on photos, unification of the mobile and desktop interfaces and new ways to sort your News Feed. For corporate marketers it is the latter that may be the most important.
The feature was hard to find so nearly everyone kept the default, Top Stories.
Soon users will be able to sort their News Feed by All Friends, Photos, Music, Games, Following, Groups, even lists of friends. Importantly the News Feed selection area will be prominently displayed. Facebook assures that EdgeRank will remain the same for the default News Feed. So if users keep the default News Feed, marketers should see the same results. However, if users select All Friends, marketers are shut out of the News Feed, unless they buy placement.
From our prospective the most interesting News Feed segment is “Following,” which will display updates from Pages and people you follow in chronological order. Basically it turns your News Feed into a river of news RSS reader. They even use the same icon!
With the Following segment, no longer will the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm decide if your corporate content is relevant. Your Fans will decide. Since the feed is chronological, will it pay to publish early and often? Or is it a better strategy to hope you engage Fans so their social gestures will place your content in what is likely to soon be the coveted All Friends News Feed? How will marketers know what and when to publish? We will have some thoughts on these issues soon.