Facebook Passes News Feed Control to You
By Ralf Skirr.
With more and more people getting hooked, or at least interested, with Google+, Facebook just had to make a move. So, what’s Facebook’s decision? Start with passing the news feed control to users—consumers, developers, and marketers alike.
Basically, what happens is that the news feed filter, which categorizes your friends' or fans' posts, is removed. This means whenever you post something, all your friends or fans will immediately see it, if they are logged in at that specific time.
With appealing posts and irresistible offers, this can greatly help in our marketing campaigns. And if your fans or friends "like" your posts, this can mean instant viral boost. Of course, you will still have control over who gets to see your posts and don't. That is the control Facebook is now offering to developers, business owners, and common users.
Facebook News Feed Floodgates Are Finally Opened!
Although it might seem that users are able to see feeds in real time—exactly after they are posted—the opposite is actually true. That is to say, up until now Facebook actually controls what feeds users are able to see: the feeds you get are from friends who are active users or those you constantly communicate with. That means if a relative or a close friend does not post often on their account, it will be likely that when they do post, it will be buried beneath all the posts of those who log on to their Facebook regularly.
Now, this is something that is disadvantageous not only to common users but particularly to business owners—to internet business owners like us.
First off, Facebook is meant to be a marketing platform for developers and businessmen. Now, with millions of us competing on this popular platform, getting recognition is tough. With the Facebook administration filtering what users see and don’t, our chances of getting more attention are further diminished.
Second, internet businesses don’t just use Facebook for marketing but also for research. To know what our target customers really want to have, what changes they want to see, and what we can offer to guarantee sales—that is one of our primary goals in starting a Facebook account. Sure, there is Facebook Insight, and yes, we might be able to track leads with our web links. However, those alone can’t provide us with concrete information. Only the posts, opinions, and activities of our target customers can really give us easily actionable data.
Last, without enough data, we can’t guarantee that our new marketing plans will exceed or at least reach our expectation. While it is common for business experiments and first launches to deliver mediocre results, it definitely pays to gain as much market data as possible for our results to continuously improve.
That is why the former stance of Facebook in filtering news feeds is highly unfavorable.
Fortunately, Facebook now understands that users, especially developers and businesses, need more freedom with regard to what feeds they get, what they don’t, and what they want others to see; Facebook finally understands that while letting go of valuable content might become a weakness, it is also the only real way for this social network to continuously grow and, perhaps, beat continuously rising competitors like Google+.
Internet Businesses Taking Advantage of the Revamped News Feeds
Although I keep saying that this big step Facebook is taking will be of benefit to all type of users, there is no denying that developers and internet businesses will be the ones to get the most out of this change.
Basically, this revamped news feeds answer the three problems I earlier noted.
- First, it allows us to stand out in our target customers’ news feeds, once they “liked” our page or accepted our friend request, if you are using a personal account. When we post something, they will instantly be notified on their home pages.
- Next, we will gain instant access on their activities. We will effortlessly discover what activities they like to do, what things they love to have, what apps they often use, what games they will willingly recommend, and so on. This new wealth of information may be a little unorganized in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it will beat any simple statistics tool out there on the market.
- Last, with the information we are able to gain, it will be easier to create marketing plans and products that the market will definitely grab. There is no more trying in the dark; with enough data directly acquired from our target consumers, production costs will be reduced and revenues can increase more rapidly.
With this big change on the news feeds, Facebook might just regain the spotlight that Google+ is trying to steal away.