Facebook is killing organic reach – true or false?

And again we are facing novelties coming from Facebook related to fan pages’ organic reach. Facebook business pages were already struggling to organically reach fans for quite some time and now we got official confirmation about something we were already familiar with. We wrote about Facebook’s organic reach decline and fact that reality is very harsh for fan pages which are trying to communicate with their fans organically. Now Facebook came up with the latest change that once again affects Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm.


Before we give you detailed information about what’s new this time, we’ll first speak about something we think was not so obvious for many. Did you know you can influence what’s been presented to you through your News Feed? If you haven’t noticed already, Facebook provided us an option to decide what we want or don’t want to see in our News Feed. You are able to decide which stories are interesting and you want to keep seeing them, or which ones you dislike and you want them to be removed from your News Feed. You can even take a little survey provided by Facebook and tell which stories and post type you prefer or dislike. This option is called ‘Take a survey to make News Feed better’.


It seems like this survey had significant impact on Facebook’s policy since they came up with the new algorithm change based on feedback coming from users. And here is the outcome, presented by Facebook’s representatives:

“One of the main reasons people come to Facebook is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. When people see content that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to be engaged with News Feed, including stories from businesses.

That’s why we often look to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve. As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.

We dug further into the data to better understand this feedback. What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.

According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:

1.       Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
2.       Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
3.       Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.”

Here are examples of such posts:


What does this mean? From January 2015 people will see less of overly promotional content posts in their News Feed. This actually means that posts which are even slightly promotional will be treated as ads and pages which publish such content will face serious organic reach fall. Explanation is once again based in fact News Feed is a competitive place business fan page must fight seriously for in order to earn place there. Let’s just quote Mari Smith here:

“News Feed is a competitive place! Every time a user logs on, they could see anywhere from 15,000 to 150,000 pieces of content – depending on how many friends they have, how many people they follow, and how many Pages they’ve liked and follow. Out of that mass of content, Facebook passes each piece of it through the News Feed ranking algorithm – which contains as many as 100,000 weights – and then serves up around 300 stories in your News Feed. Amazing process, yes?”

Read more: https://www.facebook.com/marismith?fref=ts

The only way how business page can earn place there is by producing and publishing original, highest-quality content people will like and would want to interact with. Not to forget that from now pages must pay ads if they want to reach people. (OK, we all know this is reality for quite some time. The only difference is that this latest change confirms this officially.) So, we are speaking about both good and bad sides of this update. Why? Well, as much as we must agree News Feed should be more engaging and top-quality should be the key factor for any story to enter this really exclusive online promotional channel, the other side of the coin says that even pages who are doing great job will have to pay in order to reach people. This is actually how thing will work from January 2015 – paid ads first and after people are attracted, the best possible community management efforts and original storytelling that brings real value which will keep people interested.  

Some reacted on this update by assuming number of ads users see in their News Feed will increase. No, this is not true. The main difference is that quality and relevance will come first (with paid ads right beside) when deciding on which stories will be served in one’s News Feed. Once again Facebook is stressing the importance of good quality page content and once again they say fan pages are and will remain very important online marketing outlet businesses should use seriously to promote and reach people with their messages. To quote Facebook once more:

“Businesses should think about their Page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service.”     

We agree with this 100%. But, on the other hand it is no secret Facebook is sending clear message to companies and businesses which goes like this: No More Free Ride, guys!

What do you think about Facebook’s organic reach policy?  

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