In a rare move that gives Facebook users more control over their experience, you now have a way to make sure you see posts from the people and pages you like best.
Just go to a person’s profile and click or hover on the “Following” button, and you’ll see a new dropdown that allows you to prioritize their posts to the top of your own newsfeed. Presumably, this means you won’t miss anything they post — or at least it increases the odds that you’ll see it.
You can do the same thing on a Page you’ve liked…
… and also for a Page you’ve liked from your own business Page.
As reported by DigitalTrends and TechCrunch, this setting can also be tinkered with by iPhone users within the Facebook app.
I’ll be curious how this plays out, since Facebook hasn’t always followed through on its own permission-granting benevolence. For example, you can switch your Facebook news feed from “Top Stories” to “Most Recent”… even though Facebook will inevitably change it back to Top Stories for you, because… well, no one knows why, and everybody hates it, but they just keep doing it anyway.
What Does This Mean for Businesses Who Use Facebook?
It’s too early to know for sure… but I have a hunch.
Given how Facebook naturally strangles the organic reach of Pages so businesses must advertise in order to be seen, this new priority setting seems even more likely to push Pages further down their fans’ newsfeeds… which means your Facebook ad budget better keep going up if your business ever wants to be heard from again. (Also, here’s a great take on why following the tips from algorithm-chasing gurus makes no sense.)
By the way, if you manage a business page on Facebook, you may be panicking right now and crafting a status update with a screen cap that urges your fans to “adjust this setting to make sure you keep seeing all of our updates!” If you are, here’s some advice: save your breath.
Unless you’re an amazing brand that delights its fans daily — and I mean you’re seriously a beloved part of their day, not something they just use once in awhile and otherwise tolerate — you’re already viewed as a necessary evil. Your fans “liked” you on Facebook because they don’t mind your occasional intrusion into their reality, but they don’t need to see your updates the way they need to see the updates from actual humans they know and love.
On the other hand, if you are a beloved part of their day, they’ve probably already engaged with you enough on Facebook that its algorithm is continuing to deliver your updates to them — so you have far less to worry about than all the mediocre brands who are stuck buying attention. (Which, to be fair, is 99% of them.)
The real lesson here? Be worth your audience’s time in the first place. Be so useful and interesting that you don’t need to beg your audience to pay attention.
Fun fact: that lesson works in life and relationships, too.