Recently, Facebook announced their aim in 2018 to prioritise personal connections and promote meaningful interactions between people. The first landmark change towards this goal involves their News Feed, where content from publishers and brands will be reduced, while content from friends and family will increase.
Facebook has a strong history of balancing user experience and advertiser needs. In the past, they have made changes to reduce clickbait, ‘Like’-bait and memes, and their latest move is a sign that users are becoming more discerning about the content they see. Here’s what brands need to know in order to adapt:
Facebook’s share of ad spend is still increasing
Facebook has established itself as significant place to advertise as part of a media plan. The platform is where audiences are, and their user engagement and user growth fundamentals are sound. With more than 2 billion users on the social platform and growing, Facebook will continue to be a significant factor in Marketing strategy.
Adoption of digital is increasing, but audiences demand more quality
Advertising space on Facebook remains a supply and demand auction where Facebook controls a growing inventory. Breaking down this ‘inventory’, the recent Digital in 2018 report shows 5 out of the top 10 fastest growing markets for social media are in APAC. Brands appearing on a News Feed would not just have beaten out other brands in the auction, but will also enjoy more attention from more people, and with less ads from other brands appearing in the News Feed.
Facebook’s advertising channels are also increasing
Facebook also has up-and-coming channels for advertising in 2018 – Instagram ads will make up 18 per cent of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue this year, and Messenger ads are maturing. While audiences are expected to spend less time on Facebook, time spent on Instagram and messengers is still growing. This underscores the need for holistic media planning.
In short, Facebook’s News Feed adjustments are a smart move to ensure the audience is getting the utility they want and ultimately advertisers will benefit from that. The short term for advertisers is while cost per engagement may go up, quality of engagement maybe also go up due to less competition for space in the feed. That means issues such as quality content and targeting become more important.