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Facebook says accusations are ‘false meme’

Facebook decreases organic reach

Has Facebook really decreased our organic reach to push us into paying for Promoted Posts?

November 14, 2012 11:09 by

Facebook says they still receive questions from brands and businesses around how the News Feed works; that many still remain unaware of how to distribute a page’s posts and how Promoted Posts can reach a bigger audience.

Earlier this year, the social media giant decided to better regulate content that appears on the news feed of users but when asked, they wholeheartedly denied “decreasing the reach of organic posts” in an attempt to boost sales of their Promoted Posts.

In fact, the multi-billion dollar company tells Kipp that the accusations are nothing more than a false meme.

“There’s a lot of misinformation going round about changes to news feed. To be clear – we did not change news feed so we could charge to promote posts. This meme is totally false,” Facebook told Kipp in an emailed statement.

“Based on a recent quality check, we made an adjustment to the news feed algorithm to respond to the negative feedback signals of spam and people hiding posts. Current signals show the adjustment has been successful – median reach of Pages has remained the same, while spam complaints and stories hidden by users have fallen significantly.”

After the 20th of September, Facebook’s algorithm alteration kicked in and brands began complaining that their organic reach was falling behind. The company maintains that it was done for nothing more than enhancing the users’ experience and highlighting more of what is relevant to them.

“News feed is built to show relevant content. A few times a year we perform quality checks on the news feed algorithm to ensure high-quality and relevant posts,” continues the statement.

Kipp knows it’s not uncommon for a social platform of similar enormity to conduct regular check-ups and adjust the algorithms as it sees fit. After all, a platform that relies heavily on user experience will lose everything if they don’t keep up with what users want.

However, when we examined the results released by Edge Rank Checker, we see that their research shows a 25 percent drop in ‘organic post reach’. They had analysed approximately 3,000 pages and compared the reach, interaction and virality of posts the week before and after. The results show a rather substantial difference.

Prior to the aforementioned alteration, a page hit an average organic reach of 26 percent. That number quickly dropped to 19.5 after September 20. Edge Rank says the study was prompted by the widespread complaints they received from brands and users who were disgruntled at the decrease.

“The more content that is posted to the news feed, the less likely your Page’s content will reach your fans. Facebook has also been rumored to provide 80% organic content, and 20% paid content in the form of sponsored stories for Pages,” noted the case study.

Do you think organic reach has purposely been dropped to sell Promoted Posts or has the news feed simply been ‘cleaned’ up a bit to show only relevant content based on a user’s interaction?


1 Comment

  1. Lama on November 14, 2012 2:18 pm

    What’s worse is that the promoted posts don’t even reach your target audience because there’s no Geo-targeting at that level. So not only is Facebook making brands pay for more users to see the posts, these users could most probably be from the friends of friends located outside a brand’s influence zone.


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