Facebook has invited journalists to a press conference on 7 March to “see a new look for News Feed”.
That sentence may raise a smile among marketers, given that the old look for News Feed has been constantly tweaked and refined since its debut in September 2011. Marketers have been constantly striving to keep up with the implications for their activities on the social network.
Still, new News Feed. What form will it take? Business Insider sensibly looks to Facebook’s last financial earnings call, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave plenty of clues.
He promised Facebook’s ads would get better when the social network could do “more with different kinds of media”, specifying bigger pictures and video as two examples.
Zuckerberg also implied that advertisers won’t be able to use these formats until Facebook users are used to seeing “organic content” in these formats from friends.
So, bigger pictures and videos seem a sensible bet to be announced at the 7 March event, which could be good news for music-related Pages, with plenty of these assets available. We’d also suggest this may be a good time for artists to get on Instagram, if they haven’t already.
Alongside all this, though, the debate over how posts are surfaced in people’s Facebook feeds continues.
New York Times writer Nick Bilton has published a post detailing how sharing his weekly column to 25k subscribers on Facebook early in 2012 was regularly generating hundreds of Likes and dozens of reshares.
In January 2013 with 400k subscribers, though, Bilton has “averaged 30 likes and two shares a post”, only approaching the previous numbers when he paid to promote one.
Richer media given prominence in Facebook users’ News Feeds sounds good for artists, in other words. But marketers will be pondering the potential costs of ensuring they get seen.