A policy change can change the value of many things. This time its what appears on individual’s walls on Facebook – the prime real estate int eh world’s largest word-of-mouth network.
Facebook just announced several changes that are going to take place in October of this year. One of the big ones for marketing and digital agencies is that no longer will an API be allowed to share on friend’s wall.
The official word from Facebook:
“We have found that posting content via API (stream.publish) on a friend’s wall lead to a high incidence of user dissatisfaction (hiding content, blocking the app). After the migration period, posting content to friends’ timelines via stream.publish will no longer be allowed. Please use the Feed Dialog for posting.”
What does this mean to marketers and brands?
If you follow the new KPIs of Social Media and Events one of your key efforts is likely around viral engagement and earned impressions on Facebook. This used to be enabled automatically by API that allowed sharing on a connections wall. Now you will have to rely on solid user generated content to get virality and impressions.
I’ve said numerous times on this blog that the way to get user generated content that is highly effective is to catch people at the time when they are having fun doing a very unique event or activity and post for them so all the friction is removed. From the Olympics to the Stanley Cup Play-offs user generated content has ruled the social sphere. Now that you can’t use an API to post to another wall you have to be smart and figure out how to get others to do it for your brand and become social media brand champions.