How long will Facebook be your company’s friend?
Monday, October 30, 2017
If you're like most businesses, Facebook plays an integral role in your marketing. It's the place you go to build and maintain relationships with followers. It's where you drive traffic to your newest blog post. It may even be your main platform for customer acquisition.
But what if that all stopped?
That's exactly what happened to businesses and news outlets in six countries this week. In Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka, Facebook performed a test that moved all nonad posts on Pages from the News Feed to the new Explore Feed.
This new section of Facebook is essentially a News Feed for pages and people you don't already follow, which is currently being rolled out globally to all Facebook users. Positioned on the left-hand side of the desktop layout, you can click on the red rocket icon to go to the new Explore Feed to discover customized content based on your interests and preferences.
With this new test, Facebook is seeing if it can do more with the Explore Feed.
"The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it's an idea worth pursuing any further," said Adam Mosseri, Facebook's Vice President of News Feed, in a recent statement.
As a result of this test, some Pages received four times less engagement than they did before while the top 60 Facebook Pages in Slovakia lost 67 to 75 percent of their reach, according to The Guardian.
To restore lost reach and engagement, Facebook Pages would have to pay for their content to show up in their News Feed, increasing their ad spending. In 2016, Facebook made $26.89 billion in ads — a 57 percent increase from 2015. A move like this would undoubtedly increase the company's ad revenue while giving users what many want — a Facebook News Feed that puts friends and families first.
For now, Facebook has no plans to roll out this specific test further, so you don't have to worry about your content moving from the News Feed to the Explore Feed. But that doesn't mean you're in the clear.
The company still wants to find a better, easier way to display content from friends and family. Plus, Facebook continues to position itself as a pay-to-play platform.
You've likely noticed a drop in the organic reach of your Facebook posts, and you're not alone. After analyzing more than 3,000 Facebook pages, with a total annual impression count of 500 billion, SocialFlow research found the overall reach per post from January through May of 2016 was 42 percent less than 2015.
Changes to Facebook's algorithm prioritize personal content over content from Pages in the News Feed. Again, this means many Pages are forking out more cash to replicate the reach they previously got from organic content.
Learn how to play the system more by understanding how Facebook's News Feed works from none other than Mosseri himself in this presentation.
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