Facebook is changing its news-feed algorithm again, and the emphasis on “helping make sure you don’t miss stories from friends” has predictable implications for marketers.

“We are updating News Feed over the coming weeks so that the things posted by the friends you care about are higher up in your News Feed,” explained Facebook in a blog post. “Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.” The impact is expected to be greater for pages that get more of their traffic directly from their own posts, and smaller for those who get more from fans sharing, commenting on and liking posts. A separate blog post about Facebook’s “news feed values” made the emphasis clear: “Friends and family come first.” No music marketer will be shocked by the change: organic reach of page posts has been falling for some time anyway, and those making most use of Facebook already judge it by the return on investment of paid ads, rather than organic posts. This time round, it appears to be news sites getting in a flap about the changes, having enjoyed a glut of organic traffic in the last year.

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