Restricting organic reach to a measly six per cent is not good enough for Facebook. To be fair, many digital marketers tagged it ages ago, but organic reach on the world’s most popular social media network is now practically down to zero. Will it remain the world’s most popular network. Probably not with businesses. Unless you shell out for paid advertising, some are saying that marketing your products and service on FB is a waste of time. The best use businesses will get from this particular social network is an idea of consumer behaviour. And isn’t consumer analysis so much fun! But there is a method to the madness that is Facebook. And you have to give credit to Zuckerberg for trying to establish the core values of the company.
As Vice President Adam Mosseri succinctly explains in his announcement of the new algorithm changes Facebook put “friends and family” first, but does want to be considered as “a platform for All Ideas.” How Facebook plan to go about re-evaluating its original brand promise is by tweaking the News Feed algorithm and preventing accounts from becoming a mishmash of marketing videos, memes and ads. Unless you pay to advertise of course. Essentially Facebook want to make their service more personal to the user and deliver more posts from friends and family members. The change has been prompted by a lack of sharing, comments and likes given the amount of marketing content users are receiving.
More power to users?
Facebook held a referendum to ask what type of content their users prefer to see. The vote was for more “user-generated” content and less corporate news – which means family and friends get the nod over businesses. The key issue for FB users is essentially to remove the clutter they don’t want from their algorithm feed. This feels a little awkward. When Facebook prevented organic reach based on user-behaviour, they restricted users from getting updates from friends they don’t engage with so often. That looks as though it may change, but we have’t noticed that in our news feeds yet. But it’s early days. Although it appears certain content will be excluded from Facebook feeds, what happens to articles from publishers users want to read.
Mossier explained that users will be granted more power over content they receive from brands based on independent sharing – content they share directly from the publishers site rather than content that appears unceremoniously in their newsfeed. Will this also apply to sponsored ads? It doesn’t seem plausible that Facebook will shoot themselves in the foot, but they do already give users the option to see fewer posts based on certain topics which exclude brand content based on user preferences. It has to make you wonder just how well Facebook algorithm actually serves its users. On the one hand the social media wants to share “All Ideas” but does not want users to be inundated with content that is not relevant to them. Surely encouraging users to make their own choices rather than twerking algorithms is the sensible and beneficial approach.