3 Reasons You Should Care That Facebook is Testing Topic Specific Newsfeeds

Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm holds all the power. One tiny tweak on Facebook’s part and your carefully crafted post goes into a social media black hole.

Although the algorithm can seem like our worst enemy at times, it arose out of necessity. As more people and more brands joined Facebook, more and more content was posted. Facebook couldn’t show you all of them. Then the platform would become more like Twitter. Instead, it chose curation.

Do you want to see 7 photos of your high school friend’s child’s 6 month birthday post, a breaking news story about Donald Trump or a viral video about cuddly cats?  (All of these, by the way appeared on my own Facebook feed this morning.)

The algorithm curates the content that the friends you have and the brands you follow create but as the volume of posts have increased, so has the challenge of figuring out which content to show someone.

According to Ad Age, Facebook appears to be trying to address this problem with a new newsfeed format. The new format segments content into topics and separates them into tabs. The new feature has been in testing since October. Reports show that there will be 13 high level interest-specific topic feeds. Within those high level topic feeds, there are also reportedly sub-feeds to further drill down to the interest level you have in that topic. For example, in the ‘Lifestyle’ feed, you could choose ‘Beauty Tips’.

As a brand on Facebook, there are 3 reasons to be excited about this change.

3 Reasons to be excited about Facebook topic-specific newsfeeds
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Greater Organic Reach To Niche Audiences

If you’re a Facebook user between the ages of 18-24, you have around 649 Facebook friends. That number drops to a slightly more manageable (!?) 350 friends for the average US Facebook user. And those numbers don’t even include the brands that users follow on the platform. That’s a lot of content being generated on a daily basis. By segmenting that content into interest feeds, your content has a greater chance of being seen by an audience that has an expressed interest in your product or service. With organic reach levels for brands hovering around 2.6% right now, a possibility of an upward trajectory is a good thing.

“With organic reach levels for brands hovering around 2.6% right now, a possibility of an upward trajectory is a good thing.”

Increased Time Spent With Your Content

With greater access could come increased time spent with those audiences. Topic specific feeds will allow you to connect with an audience more likely share and to engage with your content. With increased actions on your posts should come greater access to that users friends who have similar interests.

More Targeted Ad Inventory

Facebook ad targeting is already one of the most accurate and effective and it could become even more so with the addition of topic-specific newsfeeds. Initial reports of the segmented newsfeeds reveal that no ads are being served at this time. This will change.