So it looks like Facebook has finally put the final nail in the coffin of organic reach for brands and publishers. With Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that they would be streamlining Facebook’s timeline to show users more content from their friends and family in an attempt to create more meaningful connections as opposed to being bombarded by news stories (real and fake) and brand posts.
According to a recent study done by, shocker, Facebook, the results found that users who scroll through passively through their timeline can potentially harm their well-being. While engaging with content from people we care about, tends to have a positive effect. So Zuck, and the folks at Facebook are looking to get back to the platform’s roots, connecting with all those people we met once at that party 3 years ago and forgot who they are. All kidding aside, Facebook’s changes are potentially a move to bring people back to the platform, and give users who are active on the platform a more meaningful experience, and ultimately, according to Zuck, spend less time in the online world and more time connecting with each other in the real world.
So, what does this mean for marketers? It depends, there isn’t a lot of information about how this new timeline will affect paid ads and boosted posts. One can assume that because Facebook is technically still a business, it will still need to generate income, and that income will likely come from paid ads. The real question is, where will these ads live, with Facebook beginning to diversify into new forms of content, including original scripted content (to compete with YouTube), will ads be relegated to a new section of Facebook? I am sure that some content will still be served in timelines, but my guess is that these ads will be more sparse in order to give consumers the old timely Facebook of yore (aka, the Facebook I had to sign up for with my college email address and wasn’t at every school yet).
Time will tell whether this new timeline will have a negative impact on brands pages, and if brands will potentially jump ship from Facebook and move over to more emerging apps and technologies, or even Facebook owned Instagram (where content is already rarely seen unless posts are promoted). Or will brands now be given the option to sponsor the original programming Facebook is starting to produce? So many questions, and like Facebook itself, we’ll have to wait and see how this new direction pans out.