Facebook users should expect much fewer marketing posts to show up in their News Feed beginning next year, as it looks to reduce "overly promotional" posts by Pages.
The social networking site said that during an ongoing survey among hundreds of thousands of its users, one of the major responses was that users wanted their News Feeds to show more content from their friends and the Pages that are important to them, with less promotional posts.
When Facebook dug deeper into its data for a better understanding of the feedback that it received from users, it discovered that the content that users see as too promotional are not the advertisements but rather the posts from Pages they have liked.
According to the users surveyed, the traits that make posts feel overly promotional are posts that only intend to attract people to purchase a product or download an app, posts that push users to join promotions and raffles without any context, and posts that re-post the same content that has been posted in ads.
Facebook explains that while News Feed is implementing controls on how many ads users see and the type and quality of these ads, similar controls have not yet been implemented on promotional posts made by Pages.
To address the issue, Facebook said that it will now be launching new content and volume controls for the promotional posts made by Pages, so that the users will see more of the content that they want to see in the News Feeds form these Pages.
By January 2015, users will see less promotional content by Pages in their News Feed as the distribution of such posts will decline significantly over time.
Facebook, however, added that the change will not cause an increase in the amount of ads that will populate the News Feeds of users.
"This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the change.
"We must protect the experience for people," wrote Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson in an e-mail to the Wall Street Journal.
According to Everson, the goal of the change was to make the News Feeds of the users become more "personal, relevant and useful."
In addition to improving the user experience, this change could ultimately lead to higher advertising revenues for Facebook, as companies will be getting much decreased reach for the promotional posts that they post on their Pages.
Facebook is basically saying to companies that if they wish to send out promotions to users, they will have to pay for it, said Altimeter Group analyst Rebecca Lieb.