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Why Facebook’s News Feed Change To Show Less “Public Content” Is Actually a Good Thing

Why Facebook’s News Feed Change To Show Less “Public Content” Is Actually a Good Thing

When Mark Zuckerberg said that he wanted to “fix Facebook” in 2018, no one predicted that he would make such a big change so quickly.

12 days into the new year, Zuckerberg and company dropped what might be the biggest Facebook News Feed update in years (particularly for brands).

Quite understandably, the future of Facebook for marketers and brands is uncertain.

Here’s what’s happening with the Facebook News Feed and why I think it’s a good thing for both Facebook and for brands long-term.

Facebook News Feed Changes

This isn’t the first time Facebook has made a big change to the News Feed to focus on friends and family over brand content.

This time around, however, it feels a bit more real.

In the January 11th press release from Adam Mosseri — Facebook’s Head of News Feed — wrote one line that will most certainly impact how we approach Facebook marketing from here on out.

“We will prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with our News Feed values

Instead, Facebook will begin to focus on prioritizing posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.

Notice the words “between people” there.

Facebook News Feed Change - Brining The World Closer Together

The Facebook algorithm will attempt to predict which posts users might be most likely to interact with friends about, and show those higher in the news feed.

Posts that spark conversations, shares, reactions, and comments will be the holy grail of content on Facebook moving forward.

On the other end of the spectrum, public content (content from publisher and business Pages) may see their reach, video watch time, and referral traffic decrease.

A dim outlook for brands and businesses, until Adam writes,

“Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”

In other words, Pages creating content (posts) that people engage with and share with their friends will not be negatively impacted.

While Pages creating content that people don’t engage with will see the biggest decreases in results.

Which leads me to my extremely (and quite possibly irrationally) positive outlook on this new Facebook News Feed change.

Why Showing Less “Public Content” Is A Good Thing

This isn’t the end for brands. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a huge opportunity.

Working for Buffer, a social media SaaS company, and being in social media for more than six years, I truly want to see brands succeed on social media.

When brands win, it’s a win for everyone.

New products are in the hands of consumers. Information is shared. Great content helps to inspire action.

Facebook News Feed Change - A Look at the Algorithm

An Opportunity to Stand Out

Now, more than ever, brands are going to have a real opportunity to stand out on social media.

Facebook is specifically saying — we’ll reward you if you create content that people actively, not passively engage with — actively meaning commenting, reacting, and sharing.

While brands that are not creating this sort of content, will see their numbers decrease.

An Opportunity to Up Your Game

How do you create content that people actively engage with?

You must carefully and thoughtfully consider everything you are creating for social media.

Ask yourself: Will this make people want to react, comment, and share?

One important thing to keep in mind is that a lot of brand content is really good. Facebook will not stop showing their content in the news feed.

Emulate those brands’ strategies. Figure out what’s working for them.

What are other brands creating that is allowing them to thrive in this Facebook environment?

An Opportunity to Experiment

All that’s left is content. But that’s all there ever was!

Brands will succeed by accepting this Facebook News Feed change and tackle it head on through the willingness to experiment with new content.

In the press release, Mosseri writes,

“Live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos, on average. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers”

We’ve talked about Facebook video a lot on the Buffer Podcast and it has never been more important than now. Honing in on your video skills will allow your content to stand out. Plus, it’s a great way to spark conversation.

Mosseri also mentioned the importance and impact of Facebook Groups — stating that, in Groups, people often interact around public content.

Groups are going to be a important factor moving forward in your Facebook marketing strategy.


I’d love to hear what you think about the latest change to the Facebook News Feed.

Am I being too optimistic here?

Or, is this a major opportunity afoot? What do you think brands can do to help tackle these challenges head on?

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What Running 700 Miles in 2016 Taught Me About Business

What Running 700 Miles in 2016 Taught Me About Business

700 miles out on the open road.

At heart, I’m a running purist. No headphones. No waistband for water bottles. No activity monitor or GPS tracker.

When I get thirsty I usually just pop into someone’s yard for a drink from their hose!

Just my trusty Asics Trainers and a $10 Casio watch for pace.

700 miles. At seven minutes per mile, that equates to roughly 4,900 minutes, 81.6 hours, or 3.4 days.

That’s a lot of time to think.

One of the secrets to running is the ability to lose yourself in positive thought. Brainstorming, reflecting, strategizing, and conjuring up crazy ideas while endorphins are going strong is one way to keep the mind from thinking negative, self-deflating thoughts.

Successful runs happen when the “I’m tired, thirsty, hurting, angry, frustrated, not-good-enough” thoughts are pushed aside for more productive thinking.

Which is why:

Running is a lot like business.

It rewards those who put the work in day in and day out. Those who know and love the process just as much as the results. Those who can block out the negative, learn from mistakes, and keep pushing forward.

When I set out on a 10-mile run, my thoughts aren’t on the 10th mile. They’re on pace, form, technique, and getting stronger with every stride. When the run is over, I’m already thinking about the next one.

What can I do next time to increase my average mile time? How was my breathing? Could I have hit another hill or pushed myself harder during the challenging parts?

The 3 most valuable business lessons I’ve learned from running

Going Where Others Are Afraid To Go

There are millions of great runners around the world. Each one has their strengths, weaknesses, and unique way of approaching the sport.

But what separates the good from the great?

Great runners are deliberate.

They’re willing to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to train because they have a full-time job and a family to take care of. They stretch, eat, and recover with purpose. Everything great runners do is calculated.

Same goes for business.

Whether they’re pursuing a new career path or a new marketing channel, great business people are deliberate about their actions. They’ve done the research, thought of all possible scenarios, and considered the consequences of their actions.

Deliberate action is a part of their DNA.

So much so that when they decide to take a chance on something that seems crazy to everyone else, they know deep down that they’ve had their ears to the streets for months and that it’s a good move.

Overcoming Negative Thoughts

One of the biggest business lessons I’ve learned from running is just how harmful negativity can be for career growth and business success.

Imposter Syndrome is a one form of negativity that surfaces in all different types of people and situations. If you’ve ever experienced this before, you know how hard it can be to overcome.

Self-doubt and a lack of confidence are closely related to Imposter Syndrome and can have dramatic consequences on overall well-being and business success.

To overcome negative thoughts I suggest a two-step approach:

  1. Recognize that they exist and that they are passing thoughts
  2. Realize that you are where you are because you deserve it

If you’ve put in the hard work (trained) and are successful, it’s not because of luck or because of chance. It’s because you’ve earned it.

By addressing your negative thoughts directly, over time you will develop a sort of internal confidence. Negative thoughts will start to creep in and you’ll kick them right out.

Achieving Measurable Progress in Reasonable Time

To get to that next level, we all have to push ourselves to be better. To work harder.

If you want to be a great runner, at some point you’re going to have to train outside of your limits. Turning that 8-mile run into a 10-mile run is what helps you get stronger so that you can achieve new milestones.

In the business world, we tend to get stuck in our daily routines. But at some point, if we want to change the results, we’re going to have to step outside of our comfort zones.

Reading, taking online classes, asking questions, experimenting, measuring new data, and just flat-out doing are the best ways to take control of your outcome.

Three High-Impact Social Media Strategies (That Can’t Be Automated)

Three High-Impact Social Media Strategies (That Can’t Be Automated)

Many social media and marketing strategies have a big, long-term impact, but they simply aren’t scaleable for a small social team or a team-of-one. What I mean by scalable is that there’s really no way to automate the process while keeping it authentic and engaging. They’re also time consuming. But they help to create an engaged and loyal audience. One that will continue to grow over time through word-of-mouth. Here’s a great example.

One-on-one interactions.

One powerful way to grow and develop long-term, loyal customers who spread the word about your brand or product is through one-on-one interactions on social media. I.e., Reaching out to and personally saying hello to the folks who have invested their — time, money, effort — in you. That takes of a ton of time. Responding to comments, asking questions, recording a quick video, and actively searching out people who may be interested in what you have to offer is a long-term play. But the people that you take time to develop relationships with are the ones who will eventually do the marketing for you through word-of-mouth. But in terms of time-efficiency, I’d put this one towards the bottom. Another great example.

Video content.

Those of you who have dabbled in creating videos before know that this is one of those marketing strategies that takes time and resources (brainstorming, money, equipment, personnel, expertise, etc.). Video has exploded on the social media scene over the last few years and many marketing leaders believe it will make up most of what we interact with on social media in the coming years. The challenge is that if you don’t have a “video team” or the money to hire an outside video firm, you’re left with only one option… You! Something like 83% of marketers say that they want to create more video in 2016, but again, in terms of time-efficiency, video creation is a tough one to justify. One more example.

Content curation.

I’m a big believer in the fact that there’s great content out there to share for everyone. Whether you’re a brand with an stunning product that’s easily marketable or one with a “boring” product, if you look hard enough there’s always an angle. Therein lies the trickiness. Finding the time to find that shareable content. The beauty of curation done right is that it alleviates the necessity to constantly create incredible content on your own. If you look at any big publisher like let’s say Fast Company or Inc. or Forbes, they’re masters of content curation. They’ve built their entire businesses on finding and curating the best content from writers around the world. As marketers, we’re all mini curators.


“As marketers, we’re all mini curators. Always on the hunt for the best of the best.”


And that takes time.