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Facebook’s news feed revamp aftermath

 Facebook’s news feed changes lead to publishers prioritising push notifications 

Last month, we were alerted to the news that Facebook would soon begin revamping your news feed to favour user post over businesses. So now publishers and urgently striving to make a connection to the readers.

This means that each and every publisher will be making an effort to stand out visually.

It is already apparent with publishers like Wall Street Journal tripling to nine, the number of topics that its mobile app users can follow. Readers can now also “follow” its writers so users get a push when those authors publish something.

Gannett’s USA Today grew its referral traffic from pushes by 18% by incorporating pictures, video and GIFs into its messages. The Guardian has played with the font and style of its push notifications. CNN is will begin adding rich media to its push notifications in the second quarter of 2018.

In 2017, personalized push notifications didn’t gain much traction among publishers’ app audiences. Gannet conducted a survey with its app users and it revealed that relevance of the content was named as a top motivation for responding to push notifications.

“If they don’t identify with it, they’re less likely to engage with it,” said Larry Aasen, director of mobile development at Gannett.

At CNN, the click-through rate on its app push notifications determines whether to move breaking stories to the top of its homepage or write more stories on a developing story.

Thanks for Facebook’s decision to change its news feed algorithm, publishers are attempting to make up for the loss of reach in the news feed. So even in areas that drive small amounts of traffic are vital. Push notifications account for a small percentage of most publishers’ overall traffic. For USA Today, they drive just 10 percent of its mobile app opens and 5 percent of the mobile app’s pageviews.

Yet those slivers of audience are valuable.

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