Sure, the Facebook News Feed was big, but what comes next? Here is why Facebook is changing to Stories and why your brand also should.
The Rise And Fall of the Facebook News Feed
After being introduced in 2006, the Facebook News Feed became an important social media innovation. For over ten years it was the place for people to keep up with and share with their friends, and also became a place to get news and branded content. It played an important role in Facebook’s transformation to advertising powerhouse.
However, despite initially being one of Facebook’s biggest achievements, over the past few years, Facebook has become plagued by problems. These include:
- Privacy Issues
- A decline in original user content
- A reputation for negatively affecting the mental health of users
So, What Changed?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook initially was created to help people stay connected to those they are close with. However, recently even Mark Zuckerberg himself has realized that, that initial purpose has become somewhat lost. In a recent Facebook Page post he said:
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
As social media networks grow they become overstuffed with content, which can limit their function as an actual social network. After all, if someone’s News Feed is full of news and branded ads, they aren’t seeing the posts from people they know that they joined Facebook to see in the first place.
This is why Facebook has decided to limit public content and instead focus more on updates from people.
Here Come Stories
While Facebook’s News Feed has been struggling, they have taken on the Stories format.
Since being introduced by Snapchat in 2013, this format has overtaken social platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook. In fact, over a billion stories are posted every day. And it looks like Stories are set to overtake the News Feed in popularity.
It’s Not All Smooth Sailing
However, Stories is not set to overtake the News Feed and leave it completely irrelevant tomorrow. There are some road blocks: like revenue.
Right now, most of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from the News Feed. While it has created Stories Ads, it will need to change mobile video ads in a big way for this to be effective.
Another hurdle Facebook faces is getting more users to make use of Stories. The vast majority of Facebook’s 2.2 billion monthly users do not use Stories. However, this is likely to change.
Stories Are Coming, Ready Or Not
When the News Feed launched, Facebook users had no choice but to adopt it. When Facebook decides to replace the News Feed with stories, it’s likely that the same thing will happen.
While people initially dislike any major changes, and there was even large anti-News Feed group formed on Facebook, eventually people accept such changes. A study from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology shows that when users can choose to either accept change or leave, they generally choose to accept change.
How Your Business Can Embrace Stories
Stories are a large part of modern social media strategy. In fact, 79% of businesses on Instagram use Instagram Stories. And, as users of Facebook Stories continue to grow, it is likely that more and more businesses will move there.
Here are 4 ways that you can begin to use Stories for you business and keep on top of the next big thing in social media.
1. Go Behind The Scenes
Stories offer brands an opportunity to get authentic with their audience. If you make a product, show a sneak peek of how you make it. If you offer a service, maybe show a small clip of a client workshop or your team. This is a great way to help customers feel connected with your brand.
Less polished content actually performs better on stories. This is good news for brands. This is because short clips taken on a smartphone feel authentic. Also, they are far easier to produce than in-depth edited content.
Link your Instagram account and your Facebook page and cross-post between them. Once you do, it is very easy to cross-post your Stories content with the click of a button. You can even set your account to automatically publish between them.
While cross-posting may not prove to be the best strategy overall, as the audiences on each platform might react better to different types of content, it is a great place to start. It will also help you figure out what both audiences enjoy.
3. Play With Stories Ads
Stories Ads are a new part of Facebook’s Ad inventory. They let brands share image or short video ads. As Stories Ads gain traction, it is important to be ahead of the curve. Why wait? Start experimenting with them now.
SEE ALSO: 10 Amazing Instagram Stories Examples
4. Share User-Generated Content To Stories
User-Generated content is highly important. Don’t overlook it, especially on Instagram. Stories also allows you to repost content from your audience at a faster pace than in the feed. This will allow you to connect with and celebrate a wider portion of your audience and help get everyone excited about your brand, products, and services.
The Rise of Stories on Facebook
Ultimately, whether we like it or not, the world of social media is changing all the time. From new algorithms and features to whole new platforms, and can often be hard to know exactly what will be popular 1,2, or 3 years from now or how those things will change.
As Facebook Stories grow more popular and the social media site sets to transition to them, it is important for brands and businesses to be ahead of the curve. Start experimenting with Facebook Stories if you have not already. Also, start to factor them in to your overall social media strategy.
All of this will help to make sure that your business does not get left behind when the Facebook News Feed does!
How do you feel about the end of the News Feed and the rise of Stories on Facebook? Do you think it will benefit businesses or not? Comment below…