Facebook, the world's largest social networking site, is updating its News Feed algorithm once again and this time the company is targeting promotional content from company Pages. The social networking giant is dropping the number of free promotional messages featured on users' News Feed by the companies they've liked. The aim is to boost its revenue by encouraging businesses to sign up for ads instead of pushing free content.
In an official blog post on Friday, Facebook said the change will not increase the number of ads that users see on a daily basis. In fact, it will show more relevant content such as Stories from friends and Pages and less of promotional, sales-pitching posts. The company cracked down on the promotional content after surveying hundreds and thousands of users.
According to the users, companies flooded their information streams with posts that asked them to buy a product, install an app, enter promotions, sign up for sweepstakes and reuse the same content as shown in the ads. But Facebook will drastically reduce the distribution of such promotional content among its users over time.
"This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us," the company said. "While Pages that post a lot of the content we mention above will see a significant decrease in distribution, the majority of Pages will not be impacted by this change."
Even before Facebook started trimming down the widespread use of free promotional posts officially, some users expressed their aggravation against the site stating their content was not reaching all their fans. As CNET points out, actor George Takei, food delivery startup Eat24 and others have publicly criticized Facebook for limiting the reach of their content to all their fans.
"I understand that FB has to make money, especially now that it is public, but in my view this development turns the notion of "fans" on its head," Takei wrote in June last year.
In the end, it comes down to a point where Facebook runs a business and it takes it quite seriously. Advertisers make up for a large amount of Facebook's revenue and the company's push to attract more advertisers makes complete sense.