Facebook is currently testing a two-part timeline – one for friends and family and a business-related one. So what effect will this have on brands? Here are five things that have occurred to us:
- “This’ll mean back to basics; the end of adverts on my timeline”. Actually, no. Facebook’s certainly separating personal and professional newsfeeds, but advertisers will still be able to appear in your personal feed. Although of course it’s clearly understood they’ll have to pay for it.
- Diminished reach Facebook began with a test of its new feeds in Slovakia, where according to medium.com the reach of searched pages has gone down by two thirds since the test. The Slovakian news pages are having the most difficulty coping; they’re getting four times less traffic on their pages.
- Unless you can afford to pay – pay more, that is. Free clicks are a thing of the past. For quite some time now Facebook’s business model has depended on charging for reach, and brands have been happy to go along with that. As a result more and more users have been complaining about too much noise from adverts on their newsfeeds and have been threatening to leave Facebook. So now, in a straightforward response to supply and demand Facebook’s putting the price up. Even so, it’s pretty certain that Facebook is still the cheapest mass medium.
- There are also advantages with the separate timeline. For one thing, users who respond to your posts are clearly looking for the information that your page is sending to the newsfeed. In other words, they’re fans, just like how it was when it all started. It might be that it’s just a normal habit of fans to switch timeline regularly. Which means the quality of your content is that much more important
- The big question is still what impact these changes will have on video use. In his blog, Matt Navarra, Director of social media for the Next Web accused Facebook of manipulating video requests. Is the popularity of video going to hold up? And what’s happening with Live video on this separate timeline? Let’s see what the future brings…