I think most people that are admins of Facebook pages have complained at least once or twice about the social media site’s ever changing algorithms and various other ways of generating money for their shareholders. Back in 2012 Facebook began a little experiment where they started allowing pages to pay money to be seen more often in the newsfeeds of their fans, they called it “Promoted Posts” before settling on a less advertisy name, “Boosted Posts.” Pages saw their traffic drop significantly, the charts looked like a vehicle had been driven off a cliff. For those who could afford to play the game on Facebook however, it was business as usual and companies or really anyone else that had a marketing budget realized that including Facebook in their advertising expenditures only made sense, especially because of the size of the potential audience. All was well if you paid.
That said, many smaller entities, mom & pop businesses, bands, artists, non-profit causes took a major and unfair hit on their reach. A long-standing argument has been that it’s Facebook’s site, they can do what they want, which is totally true. However, they have not been fair to many people over the years, in fact one of the reasons they stated for the “Boosted Posts” is because newsfeed had gotten too popular and there were too many posts battling for valuable real estate. So they said they wanted to improve the quality of the feed, which kind of does make sense, except when you consider they allow all sorts of advertising content into the newsfeed….if they are getting paid. That totally goes against the “we are doing this for you, our beloved users” idea. Not only do they allow lower quality advertising, they also allow shady characters to not only house their operations on Facebook but they allow them to buy ads, which are then placed in the newsfeed. The sample below are just a few of the many screenshots I’ve taken over the years of T-Shirt Scam sites selling stolen artwork, all in broad daylight on Facebook.
So forgive me if I’ve never believed that this was about improving the quality of the newsfeed, instead this has always been about selling more ads to land in the coveted newsfeed. I have been writing about this very subject for years, including 2012, 2014, and 2015. I’m not going to use this article to complain about my own current issues with Facebook, although they are of great importance to me, I’d rather use this space to talk about what today’s announce means from the Grand Master of Facebook himself, Mark Zuckererberg. Make sure you click on his post to read more.
The Facebook newsroom adds to the conversation:
What does this mean for Pages and public content?
Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.
For now Facebook has stated that the commoners will still be able to see content from the pages they want to see if they use the “See First” button but over the years that function has not worked well because many people will not take the time to personalize their experience. Facebook knows this, trust me. That’s why this latest move is just another way to increase advertising revenue for the social media behemoth.
Facebook has been flirting with the idea of “sort of” creating two newsfeeds, one for friends and family and another for pages that would be buried under an Explore Tab.
Does this mean you are eliminating Page content from News Feed?
The bottom line is this: Small publishers, bands, creatives, grassroots organizers, comedians, pages that exist for fun or to brighten someone’s day will be penalized again. If you use the Facebook newsfeed for anything other than conversing with family and friends, you should find another source, you will need one soon enough.