Facebook Interests Lists were launched last week, allowing users to subscribe to their favorite interests.
“Interest lists can help you turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper… Find traditional news sections like Business, Sports, Style or get much more personalized—like Tech News, NBA Players & Art Critics.”
Any user is able to create an Interests list which can consist of both People and Pages.
This creates a more free flowing News Feed experience as the best content from just about any brand may be presented in your News Feed.
- Interests objects are shown no more than 2 at a time
- The 2 objects displayed seem to have higher EdgeRank than other objects within same Interest
- When Interests’ objects enter a user’s News Feed, they disappear after recording a unique user Reached
Why did Facebook create Interests lists?
Facebook most likely did this for a variety of reasons. In my opinion, their main motivation is to provide additional opportunities to accomplish their promised Reach percentages when brands start leveraging Reach Generator (What is Reach Generator? Essentially high end brands will be able to buy a substantial level of Reach).
It also could be viewed as a stab at Twitter’s Lists functionality where users can arrange people/brands they follow into relevant groupings. It also serves as an opportunity to provide Facebook users new and unique content that is being consumed outside their circle of friends.
What does this mean for my brand?
Brands have an exciting new opportunity to increase the exposure of their content. Brands that are added to to multiple Interests Lists now have the potential ability to extend their Reach well past their Fan base.
Brands that are generating the most engaging content (and therefore the highest EdgeRank objects) can now be rewarded with many more additional people Reached.
How does a brand take advantage of this?
Creating engaging content is the key to success on Facebook. With the addition of Interests lists, this path to success is still the same. The only caveat this new feature adds for brand managers is networking with owners of very popular Interests lists.
For example, a hypothetical Interests list exists for “Dream Cars” which has 1 million subscribers. John Doe created the Interest and manages who is included. John has included manufacturers such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati, and Mercedes.
Currently, any other brands would have to be manually added by John. There is no process to get your brand amended to this chosen list. A brand manager from a company such as BMW would have to make a pitch to John in order to be included on this list.
However, being on this list could potentially massively increase Reach, Engagement, Clicks, and ultimately increase bottom line ROI from social.
Suddenly, John has a lot of influence within the luxury car world due to the control of this Interest list. This will begin a new game of brands positioning themselves to be included in these lists. The best way to get into these lists is by providing awesome unique content that can’t be found anywhere else. The brands that succeed in doing this, won’t have to network there way into a list. They’ll be added because they’re doing something awesome.
As of right now, it is uncertain how Facebook will address this in the future. Currently, most of the largely subscribed lists were created and are now managed by Facebook employees. Time will tell if this will lead to official moderation.
It’s difficult to tell how many Facebook users will ultimately use this new feature. Typically new features are adopted at a fairly low rate, unless Facebook forces exposure. The value of being included in these lists will depend on the adoption rate of this new feature.