O C F I T B L O G Business Opportunity Facebook’s Shift Away from News Content

Facebook’s Shift Away from News Content

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Facebook has announced it will discontinue its Facebook News feature in the United States and Australia by early April 2024. This decision extends the platform’s shift away from news content, following similar actions in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany in 2023. For small business owners, this development heralds a new era in social media marketing and content strategy on one of the world’s most pervasive digital platforms.

The rationale behind Facebook’s decision is clear: user engagement data shows a significant decline in the use of Facebook News in these markets, with more than an 80% drop in the past year. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, underscores that its users primarily seek to connect with people and discover new opportunities, interests, and passions rather than to consume news or political content. With news making up less than 3% of the global Facebook feed, the company is aligning its resources with user preferences for content like short-form videos, which have seen increasing popularity.

For small business owners, this pivot away from news content on Facebook opens new avenues for engaging with their audience. While the direct impact on viewing news on Facebook is minimal—news articles will still appear in users’ feeds—the emphasis on content that drives engagement, such as Reels and interactive posts, suggests that businesses may need to adjust their content strategies to maintain visibility and engagement on the platform.

Importantly, Meta’s update does not affect news publishers’ and small businesses’ ability to use Facebook accounts and Pages to share news article links and content. This ensures that small businesses can continue to leverage Facebook as a key digital marketing tool, directing followers to their websites and using the platform’s advertising products to broaden their reach. Moreover, the assurance that businesses keep 100% of the revenue generated from outbound links on Facebook is a significant boon, emphasizing the platform’s role in supporting small business growth.

Meta’s commitment to combating misinformation through its extensive fact-checking network remains unchanged, ensuring that the platform continues to be a reliable space for businesses to share and promote content. However, the company’s decision not to enter new commercial deals for traditional news content or to develop new Facebook products specifically for news publishers indicates a strategic shift that small business owners should note. This evolution points to the importance of diversifying content types and leveraging the full suite of Facebook’s tools and features to engage audiences effectively.

As Facebook News phases out, small business owners have an opportunity to reassess and potentially revitalize their Facebook marketing strategies. Emphasizing engaging, interactive content and utilizing the platform’s various tools to reach and expand their audience can help businesses stay relevant in the ever-changing digital landscape. This shift by Facebook underscores the importance of adaptability and innovation in digital marketing strategies for small businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive environment.

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This article, “Facebook’s Shift Away from News Content” was first published on Small Business Trends

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