Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Changes to Facebook's algorithm is something that we are all used to now, from an influx of ads and sponsored content, to missing posts from our friends due to the non-chronologically ordered feeds, the landscape of Facebook is ever changing. Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg released a statement to the Facebook community about improving privacy in 2019. He explains the phenomenon as moving from a “Town Hall Meeting” to a “Private Living room” in which we would have control over who we are sharing what with.
The move to a more private Facebook Sphere comes just 6 months after the September 2018 security breach that violated the privacy of about 50 million users. In addition, the popularity of Instagram's new "close friends" feature and WhatsApp’s encrypted messages and private sharing, is making people gravitate toward a more private social media life. We may see a shift in how Facebook looks to mimic the more private aspects of other social networks. Zuckerberg hits key privacy points in his message stating that what we can expect from Facebook in the future include: - - more private interactions, - encryption of personal messages,
- a reduction in permanence of posts, stories and messages
With encryption and reduced permanence, comes greater safety in using the site for private things, with more secure data storage.
While all of that is good for individuals who prefer that future employers can’t see our middle school Facebook photos from 2008, or that memories don’t dredge up embarrassing status updates, what does it mean for businesses that use Facebook? Targeted ads attract new clients and promote products to the “town hall” that is our current Facebook landscape. It’s without question that smaller, private groups, the kind that would gather in your “living room” will be harder to reach organically with business posts. We’re predicting a higher price point for targeted ads, which may seem like the only option with dwindling organic engagement from your friends and followers. A positive spin to potentially increasing ad prices? Smaller groups. Once they are introduced, these “living rooms” may be more of what businesses are actually looking for; an even more targeted audience that will actively engage with each post.
Zuckerberg writes that these changes will begin taking place in “the next year and beyond.” Looks like it’s time to buckle up, loosen the purse strings and hopefully watch the likes, comments and shares roll in.
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