Part 1 of RBM’s “Prepping for Personalization” Blog Series
Just last week, Facebook unveiled a newsfeed update that emphasizes:
- More focus on visual content
- Better integration with mobile experiences
- Increased feed control and customization
The first two items are fairly obvious experience updates that weren’t so hard to predict. More and more consumers want big imagery à la Tumblr and Instagram, and you already know that nearly 500 million people have downloaded Facebook’s mobile app. A recent POV from Hubspot highlights what these changes mean for those of us on the content marketing frontlines.
It’s really the third category that keeps me up at night. Yes, at RBM we are experts at using an agile marketing philosophy to deconstruct algorithms for the benefit of our clients. And yes, as long as Facebook (and Google) continue their predictable cycle of major annual updates there isn’t much of a problem*.
But what happens if major overhauls to Facebook and Google’s algorithm become much more frequent? Not realistic, you say? They’re too big now for that to possibly happen? Shareholders who want profit complicate the product decision making process?
The truth is that updates start occurring at the breakneck pace of every single second. Five years ago algorithms were mostly dictated by their creators: how Facebook and Google mediated content was a one-sided conversation with little input from the user. Now however, it’s all the rage to give over control completely to the user. And that’s smart business for Facebook and Google. Very smart.
The future is all about complete and total personalization at an even more extreme pace than we are seeing today (see “Is the homepage is dead?”). There is no longer one “major” broad algorithm that governs all of Facebook and Google’s users. Instead everyone is in control of their own algorithm.
It’s genius. Facebook and Google get to provide better customer experiences while simultaneously making it harder for brands to get around the algorithm unless they provide highly engaging, authentic content, or cough up money for Promoted Posts.
But before you start asking your CEO for more budget and sounding the alarm bells, just breathe. As part of our “Prepping for Personalization” blog series I’ll discuss what we are doing to help our clients prepare for this future.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
*Yes tweaks are made all the time through testing, but core, widespread updates for the past 10 years have always been annual.