Three predictions about Facebook’s newsfeed pivot

Posted by Joe Youssef from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — North America on January 16, 2018

Facebook has been in the news a lot as of late. The coverage isn’t flattering, highlighting how the platform has affected society and how we interact with one another. Claims range from it dividing the country (ie, Russian election interference, fake news) to negatively impacting the emotional well-being of its users. Mark Zuckerberg has made turning the platform around his personal challenge in 2018.

The action plan being created has also been prompted by declines in the time spent on Facebook and public admissions by ex-Facebook staffers about how the platform exploits human psychology and creates addiction (Sean Parker, founding president’s comments; Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of growth). 2018 is the year Facebook “resets,” and focuses on facilitating “meaningful social interactions.” What does this mean to marketers who have been increasing ad spend on the platform?

1. Prioritizing Content 

Facebook will make good on prioritizing content from friends and family. Audiences anticipate seeing the content from their social circles again and ultimately spending more time on the platform.

2. Ad Inventory

Ad space will become a premium. In order to prioritize content from users’ social circles, brand opportunities will become limited. As a result, ad space will be at a premium, driving prices up for brands and marketers, and they’ll gladly pay it. Facebook has mastered collecting data and leveraging it for targeting. Marketers know how valuable that is and will be much more choiceful in who they advertise to, along with how and when. In a perfect world, ads on Facebook will become better and more engaging.

3. Platform Race 

It’s no secret that Facebook has been prioritizing video and taking advertising dollars from Google. Google will make a play to widen the gap between itself and Facebook, and will find ways to improve YouTube’s ad platform, prioritizing brand safety and targeting.

Facebook has come to an age of maturity. They are looking for ongoing relevance and continued audience growth, all while balancing investor expectations of stock prices rising. Under the leadership of Zuckerberg, much-needed shifts are coming to keep Facebook relevant amidst the growing pressure.