This week, Facebook announced a big change to the way businesses can administer promotions.
It sent a few people into a flap, airing their displeasure at yet another change made to the platform.
But, Facebook isn’t owned by its users, even though Mark Zuckerberg and his team tell us otherwise at every chance they get.
People need to remember that you are essentially ‘paying rent’ to have a presence on Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg is your landlord.
Instead of waxing lyrical about the importance of investing in channels you truly own, let’s take a look at the major changes Facebook has instituted in 2013.
It is important to keep an eye on what has happened as it gives us an indication of what’s coming next.
- Graph Search – Facebook updated its search function to highlight key areas of the platform including people, places, photos and interests
- The New News Feed – The biggest change made in 2013, Facebook updated the primary news feed look and feel to better align with the mobile product.
- Timeline Tweaks – Facebook made some subtle adjustment to user timelines with the introduction of boxes to showcase the things you like including movies, TV shows and books
- “I am doing…” – Users were given the ability to tell their friends what they were doing in status updates. For example, I am watching tennis on ESPN.
- Verified Pages and Profiles – Facebook borrowed a popular Twitter feature and introduced a verification feature to helps users identify real accounts.
- Simplifying Facebook Ads – The suite of Facebook ad types were significantly reduced to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to navigate the self-serve ad platform.
- Introduction of Hashtags – One of the most talked about changes made in 2013. Facebook introduced hashtags to help categorise conversations and make the search function more useful
- Videos on Instagram – Although this change wasn’t specifically made to Facebook, Instagram is owned by Facebook and has made integration between the services a priority. Many people viewed this change as a response to popular short-form video platform Vine.
- Farewell EdgeRank, hello new algorithm – Page managers prided themselves on understanding EdgeRank which helped determine how much visibility a post would received within the Facebook news feed. Facebook canned EdgeRank in favour of a new algorithm which takes more than 1,000 factors in to account when assessing its popularity and value in the news feed.
- Quality content gets rewarded – Just after the algorithm change was announced, Facebook also instructed users to create better quality content to get more out of the algorithm change.
- Promotions allowed within the news feed – Page admins no longer need to use apps to create and host promotions which had become a major feature of the platform in recent years.
Some smaller changes have also been introduced in 2013, but these have been the big ones.
If you’d like to read a post that focuses on the reasons why Facebook has made some of its most recent changes, click here.