Facebook has given marketers a lot to be excited about with the announcement of its revamped News Feed. From larger photos and more prominent displays, it’ll be difficult for brands to go unnoticed. But while Facebook has made it easier for consumers to Like your Page, it has also made it harder for them to unlike it.
Previously, the social network gave members the ability to hide a story from a Page they Liked. They could then choose to hide all of the Page’s posts from appearing in News Feed or unlike the Page completely. Although the hiding process remains the same in the updated News Feed, Facebook has removed the option to unlike the Page.
This might not seem like a bad thing for Pages — it could help you to retain fan counts — but consumers now have a much longer process to go through just to unlike a Page. To do so, individuals must either visit the Page and click “unlike” or they must go through a “complicated” process that involves hovering over different links within News Feed.
Members of the social network have no problem sharing their unhappiness about the platform. It’s very possible that some consumers will direct their negativity toward a brand instead of Facebook. For example, instead of simply unliking your Page, an individual might instead choose to comment negatively on the post that prompted him or her to want to unlike in the first place.
What’s more likely to impact you is the possible change in reach in relation to Page Likes. If more people hide posts but don’t unlike your Page, it would appear that your reach percentage has decreased even though your Likes have stayed the same or increased. This could affect your overall metrics or even impact the type of content you choose to share in the future.
On the other hand, this change would likely have had greater effect on News Feed posts when everything was visible in just one stream. Now that Facebook is offering multiple feeds for different purposes, members who view the Following feed are essentially opting in to receiving posts from brands, thus limiting the chances of hiding posts.
Currently, there’s no official word from Facebook on whether this was an intentional removal or an oversight. It’s entirely possible that the company could return this option before the updated News Feeds roll out to more members.