Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is launching a new section on its massive social network that allows users to centralize updates from the Pages they follow.
The feature essentially separates the information a user receives about their actual Facebook friends from the updates from Facebook Pages they have “liked” or subscribed to—pages usually devoted to companies, celebrities, media organizations, sports teams, and any other brand interested in amassing a devoted and active social media following.
“This new feature surfaces updates just from Pages you are connected to,” Facebook told the tech website VentureBeat on Wednesday. “It’s a ‘Pages only’ view of your News Feed, making it even easier for people to keep up with the Pages they care about most.”
A “Pages-only” view not only allows users to separate the personalized information of their social newsfeed from things like news headlines and business updates, it also gives Facebook an opportunity to mollify discontented brands upset about the costs of advertising on the social media site and the lack of possible returns on their investment in the current “Newsfeed” system.
Just this week, for instance, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban voiced his dissatisfaction with Facebook on the rival social network Twitter and said that he was considering switching the team’s social presence over to Tumblr entirely.
“FB is blowing it?” Cuban tweeted on Tuesday.
“This is the first step,” he said, pointing to the fact that Facebook recently recommended the team pay $3,000 in order to promote page updates to an extent that they could reach over a million fans.
“The Mavs are considering moving to Tumblr or to new Myspace as primary site,” he concluded.
Currently, the traditional Facebook News Feed operates on an algorithm that determines which stories to show members whenever they log into the site, meaning that all but the most devoted fans of a given page will actually see all of its posts. Criticis like Cuban have decried Facebook’s current method of charging additional fees to promote their own content as coercive or simply unfair.
It’s therefore a feature that Facebook needs to introduce to keep its brand page users happy. As the company’s recent experiments with new features like “collections” shows, Facebook is eager to increase its e-commerce possibilities to establish revenue streams beyond online advertising alone—something that requires enthusiastic brand participation to be successful.
Shares in Facebook soared on Wednesday, jumping more than 12.5 percent to close at $22.36.