What? Facebook Changes That Might Help?

Facebook makes changes for the positiveIs Facebook making changes for the better?

This past week, Facebook altered a few items that might actually help users rather than the attract the almighty dollar.

Let’s start with ads. Did you know that you could hide certain ads? If you keep seeing ads that annoy you or don’t apply to you, you can tell Facebook that it’s inappropriate. When you hover over the ad you’ll see a small “x” in the upper right-hand. Click the “x” and you’ll view a general list of reasons you might not like the ad. Select whichever applies and Facebook will display another list to choose a more specific explanation of why you do not like the ad. Presto, no more ads from that brand.

Facebook is taking your information to guide their ad process. Facebook will use your feedback to help determine whether they show, or, how they show the ad to other people. Also, if you don’t hide ads much, Facebook claims that they will give more weight to those responses in determining their process.

Next change … are you ready for this one? Facebook has updated the News Feed to show MORE timely stories from friends and Pages where you’re connected. Early data show that this leads to more than a 6% increase in engagement. You don’t have to do anything special to make this happen. Post about a hot topic on Facebook and you’ll get more visibility. I know that 6% isn’t much, but when was the last time Facebook did something to INCREASE engagement?

It appears that Facebook might be listening to the masses. This week, Facebook, without any fanfare or announcement, eliminated “Personal Promoted Posts.” They did this without the typical onslaught of press releases. I guess they figured if a tree fell in the woods and nobody heard it … that it didn’t exist to begin with. That’s right, for now, they won’t be badgering you about spending money to get your posts more visibility in the News Feed.

Over the past couple of years, many accused Facebook of sending posts into the oblivion if you didn’t take advantage of the paid opportunities. The backlash finally caught up to the social media giant and the option to pay money to promote your personal posts has disappeared. Beyond the techie/social media world, loud voices complained about the techniques that Facebook used. Not too long ago, in a New York Times article, Nick Bilton blasted Facebook’s process for burying non-paying posts.

No one will ever know if these claims are true or not, what we do know is that Facebook is changing. Let’s hope that the aggregate of these changes help make Facebook more effective and enjoyable to use.

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

13 thoughts on “What? Facebook Changes That Might Help?”

  1. Those do seem like positive changes. The one that has so many up in arms at the moment is the threat to insist on legal names instead of pen names. I can see both sides of that one. On one hand it will bring the nasties out into the open. On the other it will prevent those who are in personal danger from protecting themselves. It’s much the same as agruing for real names on reviews.

  2. Did you hear about doing away with the likes? I think it came out in the last couple of days. I just glanced it over as Facebook has become annoying lately, at least to me.

  3. I read something in the newsfeed about FB charging a fee of $2.95 a month. Is that true? I didn’t get to read the whole article because it was taking a while to load and I had other things to do.

  4. For what it’s worth (which isn’t much), I recently extended my mortgage to do another targeted promo on FB (my Stories of Genesis books, with Steve Hackett’s endorsement – highly specific targeting), and my Return On Investment was around 20% – 1 Dollar in royalties for every 5 Dollars paid out in advertising by me.
    Unknown authors should really consider FB to be a vanity press – with generic targeted posts (e.g. “romance”, “zombies”), I suspect the ROI is going to be a LOT lower. FB thinks we should all excited by likes and shares, etc., but of course it’s the sales we need to justify the spend. And in that respect, FB ain’t doing us any favours *sigh*

  5. I just wish FB would really listen to folks who have told them repeatedly – let me see what I said I want to see versus trying to tell me what you think I really meant I want to see. If I’m friends with someone, I want to see everything. If I like a page, I want to see everything or I’ll unfollow it. And I want to see it chronologically, regardless of whether I’m on my computer, my phone, or my tablet. It really should be that simple 🙂

  6. Thanks for that, Jim. For someone like me, who quite honestly gets frustrated by and doesn’t really pay much attention to the whole Facebook extravaganza, it’s really useful to have someone spell it out so simply.

    Excellent post, Jim.

  7. Are you sure about the promotion of personal posts? Just last week, all of my posts on my personal timeline suddenly had a “Promote” option. It had never been there prior to last week. When I click on it. it asks me to pay money to tell my friends that this post is important.

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