Ask anyone in marketing or who even has their own Facebook Page for their business and the biggest woe currently is further declining organic reach on Facebook. Pages with thousands of followers have posts seen by less than a few hundred people. And pages with hundreds of followers can see organic reach in single figures. Now, the latest round of changes look set to make it even harder to reach people – so is Facebook becoming pay to play only for business?
The Explore Feed
The latest change being tested in six countries takes content from publishers and business out of the main feed entirely. Instead, it will show these posts in a new feed called the Explore Feed – and this isn’t the easiest thing to find.
The idea of the Explore Feed is that it will show posts from people or publishers that the person doesn’t currently follow. Facebook says that this is in order for people to find content they wouldn’t otherwise see. Further, there is another test in some countries that adds all publisher content into this feed, whether you follow them or not.
The logic behind it
According to Facebook, the logic behind this latest change is that people can have two feeds – one that contains all the stuff from their family and friends and another one that comes from businesses and publishers.
In their statement, they said that people tell them they want it to be easier to see friends and family posts, so this is why they have made the move. But they also add that there is no plan to roll out this change globally at the moment and it is being tried in countries such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Serbia.
Big changes for publishers
But there’s no doubt that they wouldn’t test something if there wasn’t a strong plan it would become the normal reality for everyone. And for marketers and businesses, the idea is a horrifying one. An example came from a journalist in Slovakia, one of the test countries. Their organic reach fell by two-thirds after the new feed system came in – and organic reach has been poor for some time for most people.
Currently, Facebook says they are still looking at a few basics before deciding about moving the changes to everyone or not – things like what people say and what they do with the new system. do they comment or share more? Did they spend more time on the new feed? They also say the tests will likely last a few months.
Pay to play
But for many, there is the suspicion that businesses will soon find that they get little organic reach if they don’t pay for Facebook advertising in the near future. The website already dislikes people using links to send users off the platform and that combined with their ever-increasing ad revenue makes many experts think that the future is going to pay to play or simply use Facebook for your own personal stuff.
Author Bio: David Elliott is the owner of Instant Print,a marketing and print company based in Northern Ireland.