Goodbye, Facebook News Feed: 9 Things Publishers Need to Know About the News Feed Armageddon (Source: Inc)

CREDIT: Getty Images

Earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced the end of the Facebook News Feed as we know it.

In a nutshell, public posts from brands, pages, and publishers are being diminished in a substantial way from the Facebook News Feed.

Here are nine things you need to know about the impending news feed Armageddon:

1. In the near future, page posts from brands and publishers will be scored differently from posts from friends.

Facebook determines which status updates you see and in what order they appear in your news feed, by calculating a post ranking score for each status update.

Currently, this algorithm optimizes for time spent onsite and looks at other engagement metrics such as “likes,” clicks, comments, and shares of posts. Basically, Facebook wants you to be glued to Facebook as much as possible.

Going forward, the weightings of signals in the news feed algorithm will change dramatically. Posts from family and friends will be much more prominent, and posts from publisher pages will be suppressed, as much as 5x.

2. Zuckerberg is doing it to save Facebook.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg acknowledged the damage the Facebook community is causing in the world, saying “Facebook has a lot of work to do,” and has made fixing it his personal challenge for 2018.

3. The effect on post-engagement will be devastating.

Some are saying that this change isn’t a big deal, as Facebook organic post reach has been declining for many years now.

We estimate that currently, average page reach per post is approximately 2 to 5 percent–meaning that if 100 people opted in to “liking” your page, only two to five of them are likely to see one of your posts.

But Zuckerberg says that publisher posts in aggregate still account for most of the content people see in their news feed. This is because publishers push out substantially more updates than regular users do (e.g., 10, 100, or even 1000 per day). So even if individual post reach is low, Facebook overall still generates an enormous amount of free exposure for brands.

Since Zuckerberg is saying that Facebook would like most updates to come from friends, we estimate that publishers will on average see an 80 percent reduction in page reach, clicks, and engagement. We view this as a devastating new reduction in publisher engagement, despite falling engagement rates over the past few years.

4. Time spent on Facebook will plummet.

Zuckerberg says that “by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down.”

5. Ad prices will skyrocket.

Zuckerberg adds: “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.” This is true not only for users but also advertisers.

If people are spending less time watching funny videos and consuming fake news on Facebook, it means that there’s going to be less ad inventory to purchase. Furthermore, desperate brands and publishers will likely resort to spending more on Facebook ads to revive their dead organic post reach. The combination of decreased supply of ads and increased advertiser competition will most certainly yield.

We estimate that Facebook ad costs have increased by approximately 41 percent in the past year, given the increased popularity of Facebook ads alone. The new change could increase ad prices by substantially more going forward.

6. Facebook acknowledges that spending time browsing videos and news on Facebook is bad for your health.

Zuckerberg explains that the news feed is bad for your brain: “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.”

The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.

7. Publishers that resort to engagement-baiting will be punished.

Many advertisers bait users into engaging with their content with offers that promise a coupon code or other incentive for liking a publisher post, as a way to manufacture artificial engagement. Going forward, Facebook says, these tactics will result in demotion of post rank.

8. Meaningful discussion among friends matters the most.

Facebook says that “liking” a post is just a passive activity and is therefore a less meaningful signal to use for ranking purposes. The company intends to prioritize posts on the basis of how much meaningful discussion they spark. For example, posts that require longer-form responses and subsequent follow-up replies from your friends are the type that will do well.

9. Users can still opt into seeing posts from the pages they follow at the top of News Feed.

Users who want to see more posts from pages they follow or help ensure they see posts from certain pages can choose “See First” in News Feed Preferences.

Closing Thoughts

It’s time to re-think our Facebook marketing strategy and tactics. For more information, check out our Facebook News Feed Armageddon Survival Guide.

Sheryl Sandberg Explains the Most Important Thing to Get Right on Facebook

Advertisements

Social Media Interactions are Changing – Here’s Why That’s Important

In a recent post, marketing expert Mark Schaefer highlighted an important trend which is probably getting far less coverage than it should.

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/social-media-interactions-are-changing-heres-why-thats-important/513658/

Schaefer actually took it a step further than that:

“I think this graph represents one of the most significant trends in the recent history of marketing … and yet there is relatively little conversation about it. Social interaction is migrating away from the public view into private spaces.”

Social Media Interactions are Changing - Here's Why That's Important | Social Media Today

No doubt you’re at least somewhat aware of this – both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp now have 1.3 billion users each, and both, as the chart shows, are seeing massive growth in comparison to your usual social platforms.

As social networking, as a concept, has expanded, so too have the risks and concerns with public posting. The data suggests that people are becoming more wary, more inclined to converse in smaller groups, as opposed to broadcasting everything. While the capacity to share with everyone is great, most conversations are probably better within a more refined group of friends and connections.

Even the social networks themselves have acknowledged this, and have moved to offer tools which cater to such usage – Facebook, for example, has put a bigger emphasis on groups this year, aligning with the trend towards more specific discussions, as opposed to the ‘public square’ approach.

But they’re actually going even further than that – Instagram’s been testing out a new ‘Lists’ feature which enables users to share posts and Stories with selected groups of friends only, creating a level of exclusivity and intimacy via their personal lists within the app.

Social Media Interactions are Changing - Here's Why That's Important

Instagram’s also considering splitting messages into its own separate app, further separating the public and private elements – they would only be seeking to do so if they saw a clear usage trend moving in this direction.

Facebook too is working on its own private sharing – or limited sharing – tools.

The shift is important to note, because it’s a different way of using social networks, requiring a different approach to connect with users. The main brand solution offered on this front thus far would be Messenger Bots, enabling simple, one-to-one communication, without the need for dedicated staff labor – but bots haven’t seen wide take-up as yet.

So what else should businesses do – what approach should they be taking to ensure they’re moving in line with audience trends and tapping into this new shift?

Creating more private, intimate brand connection is hard, and can easily veer into intrusive territory, but the broader impetus appears to highlight a need for more focus on brand communities, on building groups and participating in relevant conversations to help enhance your business standing, and give you a way into that more direct communication.

Content would be a key step, highlighting your expertize and willingness to provide valuable, relevant advice, but responsiveness is also critical – and that does require a dedicated human touch.

 Here’s How 5 Tech Giants Make Their Billions – Alphabet & Facebook: Advertising

Source: Chart: Here’s How 5 Tech Giants Make Their Billions

on May 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Chart: How 5 Tech Giants Make Their Billions

The Revenue Streams of the Five Largest Tech Companies

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Last year, we published a chart showing that tech companies have displaced traditional blue chip companies like Exxon Mobil and Walmart as the most valuable companies in the world.

Here are the latest market valuations for those same five companies:

Rank Company Market Cap (Billions, as of May 11, 2017) Primary Revenue Driver
#1 Apple $804 Hardware
#2 Alphabet $651 Advertising
#3 Microsoft $536 Software
#4 Amazon $455 Online Retail
#5 Facebook $434 Advertising
TOTAL $2,880

Together, they are worth $2.9 trillion in market capitalization – and they combined in FY2016 for revenues of $555 billion with a $94 billion bottom line.

BRINGING HOME THE BACON?

Despite all being at the top of the stock market food chain, the companies are at very different stages.

In 2016, Apple experienced its first annual revenue decline since 2001, but the company brought home a profit equal to that of all other four companies combined.

On the other hand, Amazon is becoming a revenue machine with very little margin, while Facebook generates 5x more profit despite far smaller top line numbers.

Company 2016 Revenue (Billions) 2016 Net Income (Billions) Margin
Apple $216 $46 21%
Alphabet $90 $19 21%
Microsoft $85 $17 20%
Amazon $136 $2 2%
Facebook $28 $10 36%

HOW THEY MAKE THEIR BILLIONS

Each of these companies is pretty unique in how they generate revenue, though there is some overlap:

  • Facebook and Alphabet each make the vast majority of their revenues from advertising (97% and 88%, respectively)
  • Apple makes 63% of their revenue from the iPhone, and another 21% coming from the iPad and Mac lines
  • Amazon makes 90% from its “Product” and “Media” categories, and 9% from AWS
  • Microsoft is diverse: Office (28%), servers (22%), Xbox (11%), Windows (9%), ads (7%), Surface (5%), and other (18%)

Lastly, for fun, what if we added all these companies’ revenues together, and categorized them by source?

Category 2016 Revenue (Millions) % Total Description
Hardware $197,020 36% iPhone, iPad, Mac, Xbox, Surface
Online Retail $122,205 22% Amazon (Product and Media Categories)
Advertising $112,366 20% Google, Facebook, YouTube, Bing ads
Software $31,692 6% Office, Windows
Cloud/Server $31,396 6% AWS, Microsoft Server, Azure
Other $60,177 11% Consulting, other services (iTunes, Google Play), etc.
$554,856 100%

Note: this isn’t perfect. As an example, Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business gets lumped into their “Other” category.

Hardware, e-commerce, and and advertising make up 76% of all revenues.

Meanwhile, software isn’t the cash cow it used to be, but it does help serve as a means to an end for some companies. For example, Android doesn’t generate any revenue directly, but it does allow more users to buy apps in the Play Store and to search Google via their mobile devices. Likewise, Apple bundles in operating systems with each hardware purchase.

Quelles évolutions pour les médias sociaux en 2017 ? (Hub Institute / Sciècle Digital)

Des chatbots, des fonctionnalités à venir sur Facebook et les autres réseaux sociaux, des marchés dévorés, du social CRM, de la détox, du live, des vidéos verticales, les influenceurs, de l’intelligence artificielle… Tout ce qui va émerger, exploser, ou encore se perfectionner en 2017 se trouve dans le report.

Daily chart: Which gaming company will dominate the virtual-reality market? | The Economist

Sony is expected to do better than its rivals in the high-end of the gaming industry

Source: Daily chart: Which gaming company will dominate the virtual-reality market? | The Economist

WITHIN a decade, virtual-reality (VR) technology is expected to transform the way businesses interact with customers. Immersive, 360-degree experiences, complete with touch and temperature sensations, should become the norm. As early as 2020, spending is forecast to reach $7.9 billion ≈ net worth of Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, 2011

≈ net worth of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, 2011
≈ Domestic box office gross, 2011

“>[≈ cost of 2011 Hurricane Irene] on VR headsets and $3.3 billion ≈ net worth of George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, 2011

≈ total US football salaries for all teams, 2011
≈ Beijing Airport Terminal 3

“>[≈ box office sales of Gone with the Wind, 1939] on VR entertainment. In the short run, however, VR primarily remains the preserve of gamers. The companies releasing the latest wave of console and headset devices are not only bringing joy to aficionados of “The Lab” and “Gunjack”, but also jockeying for position to compete in a much larger market once the technology goes mainstream.

So far, the VR-gaming industry has roughly been divided into a casual sector, dominated by Samsung and Google, and the high end led by Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive (both unveiled this spring). Sony, which released its own headset on October 13th with much fanfare, came relatively late to the game. But with a product more powerful than the mass-market devices, and more affordable than the top-tier ones, it may have a sweet spot all to itself. Moreover, it can rely on a captive global customer base of over40m Playstation 4 users, forecast to surpass 50m by Christmas. As a result, the Sony headset is expected to make an immediate impact. IHS Markit, an analytics provider, projects the firm will make $134m ≈ Finance industry 2011 political donations”>[≈ net worth of Dr. Dre, rapper, 2011] from VR sales in the next few months.

Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Source: Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Ross Simmonds is one of the best marketers, growth hackers, and businessmen we know, and he is about to give you some real gems you should pay attention too. Dig in, grab a notebook, and get this brainfood while its hot.

If you want to create a brand in the future, it’s unlikely that the exact same roadmaps used in the early 2000s are still going to be applicable. Some of the philosophies will still hold weight but many tactics are going to have been abused and no longer effective. Similar to how marketers have evolved from radio & magazines to programmatic advertising and social media as an avenue to drive results — change is coming.

Change is constant.

How’d you like to ensure that when change comes, you’re ready? How would you like to hear some of the latest media trends that are going to shake up marketing industry forever?

Well…

Luckily, today that’s exactly what I’m going to share.

Over the years, I’ve rode the waves of digital media opportunities. Whether it’s generating more than 1M views on Slideshare or helping brands grow to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram — I’ve leveraged and capitalized on many of the latest trends. And in this post, I’m going to sharesix digital media trends that will shake up the industry for years to come.

1) The Consumerization Of Media & Influencers

The body scrub company, Frank Body was one of the first brands to capitalize on Instagram fame. With an estimated sales of roughly $20 million ≈ Organized labor 2011 political donations

≈ Annual hurricane research funding in 2011

“>[≈ Typical endowment, liberal-arts university] in 2015 — the brand has grown rapidly thanks to influencers and the consumerization of media. A quick look at their newsfeed and Instagram search will show you models and regular people promoting the product:

Some of these posts are fans.

Some of these posts are paid shout outs.

When talking about Influencers in a recent interview with Nathan Chan the co-founders of Frank Body expressed that they paid Jen Selter, $20,000 ≈ Per capita income – Australia, 2005

“>[≈ Per capita income – Taiwan, 2005] for a product placement on Instagram & Twitter. At the time, Jen had around 6M followers on Instagram but today she has more than 8.2M followers and some believe she’s charging $50,000≈ Median US household income, 2009”>[≈ cost of Ford F-150] per Instagram post.

Here’s one of Jen’s posts featuring the brand:

Influencer marketing isn’t new.

What’s new is a shift from the people with millions followers being compensated for shout outs to people with thousands.

The influencer marketing company, Markerly recently conducted a survey of2 million social media influencers. In their study, they found that influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers had a higher like rate than those between1,000 and 10,000 followers. While it’s possible that these individuals low engagement is related to Instagram’s algorithm and inactive followers — the idea that almost anyone could be considered an influencer is valid.

Today, millions of dollars are being exchanged for shoutouts on Instagram, Snapchat takeovers and retweets on Twitter. As more and more people begin to create mini-brands and followings, it can be expected that more people will monetize their reach and compete with media companies for their budget as it relates to digital marketing.

According to TheShelf, brands are quickly committing to this investment:

Sites like BuySellShoutOuts.com offer brands the ability to pay influencers with all accounts sizes and covering differenttopics to promote their brands:

But this is just the beginning.

Thunderclap is a social media platform that allows people to sign up in advance and share a unified message at a specific time. Many brands have already started using this tool to drive buzz around events, non-profits and products raising money on Kickstarter. In October 2015, a project called Phonebloks generated a reach of more than 381,745,40 with supporters likeElijah Wood signing up for the campaign.

Examples of campaigns that people signed up for

Users of Thunderclap don’t currently get compensated for their tweets but I’m willing to bet, it’s coming. The willingness to offer brands the ability to tweet on your behalf isn’t new. It’s something that has been tried by many companies over the years but the trends surrounding influencers and the markets understanding of the value is an indication that this is a trend worth watching.

2) Bots Are A Media Opportunity For Brands

One of the first media companies to launch a bot was the team at Quartz. The team launched an app that feels like a friend sharing news via SMS that you read with ease. It comes with gifs, emojis, articles and of course ads like the Mini Clubman banner you see on the left.

Bots have been a hot topic for the last few months but when Facebook announced during f8 that messenger boasts 900 million users per month and it was launching a bot marketplace — it became a new ball game.

Facebook is betting on bots.

As more bots are developed we will begin seeing different more use cases. Whether it’s bots being used for the news or bots being used for shopping; the ability to connect with people through a conversational interface is an opportunity that media companies and marketers should watch.

Native content and advertising is a trend that has been soaring over the last few years. Native or Sponsored content is a model in which brands pay to have their content distributed (sometimes created) by media companies directly into their channels in a way that is often viewed as regular editorial.

Here’s an example of native content from Delete Blood Cancer on Blavity:

So what does this have to do with bots?

Well.. Imagine you’re using a fitness app.

The bot will remind you to go for a run, offer advice for meal plans and even tell you what you should do for sciatic pain — but it will also send you an article that talks about Six Reasons Why You Should Invest In The Right Shoes. Sponsored by Adidas of course…

Native advertising has been found to consistently perform better than traditional banner ads. Brands will embrace this approach within bots because it works for both the user and the publisher. I predict we will see more media companies launching bots and more bots evolving into full-fledged media companies.

3) How Stories Will Evolve Content Consumption

Facebook changed the way we find our news.

Twitter changed the way news was broken.

Snapchat and Instagram are currently fighting to determine what’s the best way for the new generation to consume it.

The last year has been a big one for Snapchat. DJ Khaled made brands open their eyes to the network as an opportunity to reach millions. Business giants proclaimed it to be the future of TV, social media and media as a whole. The rise of Snapchat resulted in profile pictures all over Twitter & Facebook to quickly change from logos & headshots to snap codes:

Instagram was once a favourite amongst youth but Snapchat quickly became a serious threat. In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray’s survey of 6,500 US teens showedthat 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27% as Snapchat took the crown.

Fast forward a few months and the momentum of Snapchat continued when Kim Kardashian did what she does best. She broke the Internet.

When she released a phone recording of Taylor Swift and Kanye West on Snapchat, every social network felt it. Journalists, the media and fans proclaimed Kim the official queen of social media and Snapchat the future:

Moments like this, the rise of DJ Khaled and the increase in usage was a clear indicators that Snapchat found gold. So earlier this year, Instagram took and stand refusing to allow Snapchat to run away with this new format and launched their own version of Stories. Creatively, they called it…

Stories.

It shares the same functionality as Snapchat allowing users to create a rolling montage of pictures and videos from the last 24 hours. It’s in this format that brands are already advertising, media companies are being launched and millions of people are watching.

4) More Free-Time = More Media Consumption

In just a few years, the idea of autonomous vehicles have gone from a futuristic dream to a realistic and disruptive product. Regardless of who you think is going to come out as the industry leader in the race towards the first fully autonomous and safe vehicle — it’s going to have an impact on media.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of Americans spend their free time watching TV.

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for more than half of leisure time

The same trend was found in places like the UK and Canada. You see, the more free time people have the more time they spend consuming content. And if we no longer have to pay attention to the road, it’s likely that we spend more time consuming visual content.

As autonomous cars become more readily available, more time will be available for people to consume content. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Meaning that over the course of a year you could consume more than 98 episodes of The Wire.

Exactly.

5)The Rise Of Vertical Video Content

Snapchats success with vertical video content has resulted in a the rise of vertical video content. For years, people suggested that vertical video was bad and that horizontal video was good:

In a leaked Snapchat pitch deck the company shared that revenues in 2015 were $59 million. The company projected to reach between $250 million ≈ cost of Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane

“>[≈ Typical endowment, research university] and $350 million in 2016, and between $500 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011] and $1 billion ≈ box office sales of The Jungle Book, 1967

≈ box office sales of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
≈ box office sales of The Exorcist, 1973
≈ box office sales of Jaws, 1975

“>[≈ net worth of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, 2011] in in 2017.

What’s a key differentiator between Snapchat and other networks?

It embraces the vertical video. Here’s a slide from one of their earlier decks about the success that brands were having with vertical content:

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a consistent increase in the amount of video content being consumed vertically. According to eMarketer and the 2015 Mary Meeker report, 29% of all video consumed online was vertical.

Lyrical School is a Japanese female band who made a major debut into mainstream with their latest music video. Unlike most videos that are built for TV, the group created a vertical video that has more than 1.3M views:

But this is just the beginning.

More and more companies are developing ads in the vertical video format. More and more media companies are offering it as an ad unit. It’s a trend that offers a more optimal experience for mobile users and a more effective approach for brands and media companies to connect with them.

6) Big Media Begins To Niche Down

Country Side Network

Did you know that there is a magazine for almost everything?

From sheeps and pigs to technology and boats. If it’s a topic, there has likely been a magazine created about it at some point in the last 50 years. Over time, magazine sales have continue to plummet and many of the niche magazines have been the early victims of this medium’s decline.

The writing has been on the wall for years:

As the niche magazines continue to die — niche web opportunities arise.

It’s the model that allowed Reddit to become so successful. Reddit is one community that is filled with thousands of sub-communities talking about niche interests and topics. Whether it’s an entire community talking aboutBBQ or a community talking about PokemonGo — it’s a place where passionate people can learn, connect and stay up to date on interests.

Media companies are recognizing the opportunity to niche down and are investing in more niche topics to reach niche audiences. Over the last few months, we’ve seen media companies invest in more diverse categories of media content. As a result, marketers will have the ability to be more targeted in their efforts rather than making assumptions about what content their audience is likely to consume.


Are there any other trends that you think will shake things up? Did you learn something new in this post?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want more content like this, check out my semi-regular newsletter.


Ross Simmonds is a the founder of Foundation, a content marketing service company and the co-founder of Crate + Hustle & Grind.