"Facebook is also making a feed ranking change today that literally puts its primary value that 'Friends and family come first" into practice. The News Feed will now show posts from friends higher up in the feed than posts from Pages like news outlets. Pages should expect a decline in reach and referral traffic, especially if they rely on clicks directly to their posts rather than re-shares by their followers." - Josh Constine, TechCrunch, June 29, 2016. Here is the article.
Call it the Facebook Wednesday Massacre. Eventually, one wonders how many publishers will be left standing.
Even before this official move, publishers have been experiencing a significant falloff in traffic as Facebook was tilting more of its News Feed to users. For example, as Maya Kosoff reports in Vanity Fair, from January 2015 until November of that year, Huffington Post had a 60% plunge in Facebook referrals. During that period, BuzzFeed had more than a 40% decline.
Kosoff also notes that according to Parse.ly, Facebook drives more traffic for media companies that does Google. Traffic, of course, converts into the price that can be charged for advertising.
Will some media companies have to shift their business model to subscriptions? That could make up for some of the revenue lost if they have to bill advertisers less or the advertisers migrate to media companies favored by our friends and family.
Another possible scenario is downsizing of media companies, with accompanying layoffs of editors, content-creators, and graphic artists.
A third is a massive shakeout in media companies. Current brandnames could disappear.
The glamour of being in the media space might have become a bit tarnished today.