Recent Updates to Facebook

Since Facebook launched in February of 2004, there have been many changes to the social networking site.

Facebook has served as a powerful tool for companies’ social-media marketing strategies. However, companies may soon have to start paying more in order to reach Facebook’s 1.23 billion users. In June, Facebook announced that fewer ads will be shown on a News Feed. This is bad news for marketers - competition for ad space could increase as well as prices. In its announcement Facebook stated that, “People are finding the new right-hand column ads more engaging, and advertisers therefore are getting more value for their ad impressions."  Facebook has not yet stated how much ad space will cost.

Another change coming to Facebook has to do with its messenger system. Facebook has been driving users to download the Facebook Messenger app on their mobile devices. Although iPhone users have rated the Messenger app with 1 star out of 5, Facebook states that the app is more engaging and much faster than Facebook Chat. Eventually users will only be able to see messages and respond once the new app is installed.

Once again Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm. An update that came out in December pushed for “higher quality content” and a greater focus on news from various media outlets. Facebook noted that users prefer links to higher quality articles about current events and their favorite sports teams so they modified their algorithms to engage more users. Brian Bloan, Facebook product marketing manager, stated that users News Feeds will rank the importance of stories by studying the interests of each individual user.  

In addition, Facebook has also made some changes to its pages. For instance, profile pictures are now smaller. Instead of 200 x 600 pixels they are now 180 x 540. The layout of pages has changed as well. The tabs are now on the left-hand side under the profile picture. The old tab section is now replaced with a new “most recent photo section.”

In the near future under the News Feed, Facebook is considering adding a “Buy” button that will allow users to purchase items they are viewing. This could be an additional sales channel for consumer facing businesses. Facebook hopes their recent updates will continue to engage its users, and create an improved user experience. 

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