New NewsFeed Has Unexpected Change

Facebook

So Facebook has once again changed how its NewsFeed looks, claiming it took our feedback; fine, whatever, right?

Except there’s another change I noticed that I find just a little annoying because I was used to a convenience I didn’t even know I had: The left side of the screen.

In your Home view, the left side is filled with all of your options, from Messages to Events, to Pages you admin, to Groups, Friends, and Apps.

On your own profile page or corporate Pages, the left side nav disappears. I wasn’t just imagining that it used to be there, was I?

Now to get anywhere else on Facebook besides using the Search bar up top, I have to click on Home to get my left side nav back to click to go to another place on Facebook.

More than just a whine until I get used to it? Maybe. I just wonder at the reasoning behind it. There’s a lot of research and logic behind not making customers have to click more than they should to get where they need to go. (And yes, we are Facebook customers even if we aren’t paying for a thing; we’re freely giving all our information to Facebook and countless advertisers.) It just seems a little lacking on the logic side.

One thing I do like is the pop-out window when I click on an item from the right-side ticker on the Home feed. I can respond to a comment without disrupting my scrolling. Not bad!

Has this change hit you yet? Do you even care?

Facebook Ads Bring Out the Beast

sadpupface“GET OFF MY NEWS FEED! NEXT STEP IS CALLING THE POLICE!”

Uh-oh. Somebody really doesn’t like Facebook ads.

As a typical Facebook user, I don’t particularly like them either, especially as they’ve gotten inserted more and more into my Facebook experience.

As an admin for several Facebook Pages, I have to deal with them even more—and with responses to them.

For brands, Facebook has made ad space an opportunity nearly impossible to ignore if the business wants to survive and grow. You still need quality content, but attracting new fans and maintaining loyal ones isn’t as easy anymore. How do you keep from hijacking your own survival?

I don’t handle the ads, but I do the posting, responding, and moderating. I interact with people all day online while trying to provide content they actually want or need that still serves the organization.

“I detest the spam I get from this site in my NewsFeed, you’re like a bad rash!”

Ouch. Fortunately, the above comment and the one before are mercifully rare; most people seem to understand that the last thing a discerning brand wants to do is alienate people (right?). We’re all still working through Facebook’s dizzying, evolving array of ad choices and combinations of choices, and believe me, we appreciate your forbearance.

As both a discerning brand admin and a regular user of Facebook, I give out the same advice: If you’re sick of NewsFeed ads too, this might work (and it might not):

  1. Hover with your mouse on/touch your finger to the right side of the post that appears in the NewsFeed.
  2. Click Hide.
  3. Click Hide all stories.

Let me know if there’s a better way. As the adage goes, you can’t please everybody all of the time, but I want to make sure we treat the people who join our Facebook community as well as we can—without them having to call the police.

Facebook Pushes “Suggested Posts” In Your Face

I work in marketing and social media. I understand the desperation to get your product, your resource, your business out in front of all of your competitors, and just plain out in front of everything else that’s going on in social media.

Facebook has proven to be a good tool to help win you prospects and customers who might not otherwise have even known you existed. This includes buying ad space to get people to click through to your Page and hopefully continue down the lead generation cycle.

Facebook is a business. Businesses are using this business. It’s a viable, logical process.

Then today I saw my first “Suggested Post,” not as an ad casually tucked away on the right-hand side of the NewsFeed, but included right in the NewsFeed among my friends’ posts and Pages I had consciously opted in to.

I don’t even know who Dianne is or why I should care that she received a supposed deal on products I’m not even interested in. Yet I’m still seeing this because, as MarketingLand says, “This new ‘Suggested Post’ ad type would allow brands to advertise a specific post to users who have no interactions or connections with a brand.”

It’s true that you could miss the sidebar ads, and Sponsored Stories (another paid ad choice) might not reach all of your target market; brands struggle with this daily. Yet masquerading as a “natural” Facebook post that shifts the hierarchy of what I’m used to seeing and what I want to see in my own NewsFeed is intrusive and annoying. It makes me think less of the brand using this function–yes, even as a marketer myself. Seeing both sides of this isn’t always a happy medium experience.

Does this latest ad ploy bother you? Or do you just blink and move on no matter what Facebook serves up?