Facebook Algo Update: Friends Come First

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 30 Jun, 2016

Facebook is once again updating its news feed algorithm, and this time the emphasis is on friends.

The update, which Facebook notes will roll out in the "coming weeks," will display content posted by friends higher up in the news feed (as opposed to business pages). According to Facebook, the change helps keep users connected to the people, places and things they want to be connected to - starting with friends.

"We've heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about. For people with many connections this is particularly important, as there are a lot of stories for them to see each day," Facebook said in its announcement.

This news feed algorithm update is not good news for brands, as Facebook says that reach and referral traffic will likely decline for some Pages. That said, the social network also notes that Page distribution and other metrics will vary depending on the composition of each Page's audience.

"For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts," said Facebook.

To avoid the impact of the update, Facebook suggests that Pages should post things their audience is likely to share with friends. Of course there is always the option of promoted posts too, which benefits Facebook's bottom line. However, according to the social network, this update is simply an effort to improve the News Feed and display the most relevant stories to its users.