Sometimes as bloggers we come up with outrageous headlines in an attempt to get audience; an example being the headline of this article. A million likes for a Facebook Page cannot be said to be of no consequence. On the contrary, 2% of a million likes translates to 20,000 likes, which is good for business.
But that’s the problem right there. Before Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm, more than 16% of those who likes a Facebook page would ordinarily see a post by a Facebook Page. However, Facebook changed the algorithm where posts are not shown to anyone but a number of factors determines whether a post is seen by a fan or not. These number of factors (over a thousand of them) have led to the reduction of Facebook’s organic reach from 16% to under 3%. For someone who has less than a 1,000 likes on Facebook like us, it means you only get to reach less than 30 people whenever you put up a post on your Facebook Page.
[pullquote] Facebook is slowly becoming a platform where people pay to talk and only being able to listen to conversations that have been paid for.[/pullquote]
Facebook has explained the reduction of organic reach on the need to show posts relevant to a Facebook user’s interests. To show you a post from a Facebook Page you already liked, Facebook gets data like how frequent you interact with the Page in question, number of your friends that have liked or commented on the said post, the time the post was put up, whether a post has a link or a photo, and how popular a post is relative to all posts on Facebook at that particular time plus a thousand and one other factors. If you have been wondering why you haven’t been seeing lots of updates from Pages you like, now have an answer.
Although Facebook’s explanation on the reduction of organic reach is based on the need to give people information that they actually need, the real reason is money. At the time Facebook introduced the new News Feed algorithm, they also launched an aggressive marketing campaign targeting Facebook Page admins to pay for the posts they put up. The aggressiveness could be seen by notifications every now and then on Facebook Pages asking admins to pay for such and such a post as the post is more popular than other posts.
But the admins haven’t complied as Facebook would wish…maybe the admins reason that the <3% reach is still good enough – just I have mentioned above “20,000 likes is good for business”. To act on this laxity, Facebook now intends to reduce the organic reach, not to 1% or 0.5%, but to 0%. This means, as a fan of any Facebook Page including Our on Page, you will not be receiving those updates from us or anyone else unless we pay for the posts. Facebook however says that posts with several likes and comments will still find their way to your News Feed but that is nonsense…0% reach means no one would have seen the post in the first place for him/her to like or comment on! OK well, there is some sense. Of our fans, probably there is one or two who would visit the Page and like a post, not from their News Feed, but from our Page’s Timeline.
This is immoral of Facebook
Facebook’s desire to reduce organic reach to 0% is very immoral. First of all, not all Pages are created for economic gains. There are thousands upon thousands of Pages whose sole purpose is to serve fans with information for information’s sake. Examples of such Pages are celebrity Pages, Towns, Cities, and the likes. Secondly, fans like specific pages in order to receive updates from those Pages. Just the other day my wife asked me if I had seen the news about Yumobile being sold to Safaricom and Airtel but despite having spent the entire time on Facebook, the update by Daily Nation’s Facebook Page had skipped my attention. I had to visit the Page itself to retrace the update and get the relevant link. So Facebook is saying, “you have liked a Facebook Page, fine, but have them pay us before you can see their updates”.
Lastly, it is not that having a million likes on Facebook is easy. Most of the time the pages that have over 5,000 likes within a very short time must have promoted their Pages by giving money to Facebook in order to get those likes. People will promote their Facebook Pages with intention of getting over a million likes then having the million people interact with their content. Requiring Page admins to also pay for the content to reach those who already like their Pages would be similar to a supermarket putting up ads on TV but the TV Station requiring the supermarket to again pay the TV Station for every single user who finally visits the supermarket.
Facebook users are not spared either
The Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is not sparing you as a Facebook user either. Despite not being able to get Facebook updates from the Pages you already like, updates from your friends will also reduce to close to zero. Facebook will soon start pushing more and more of the sponsored posts to you as a user, and you’ll be forced to work even harder in order to interact with your friends on Facebook. Only very popular posts by your friends (judged by the number of likes and comments) will be shown on your News Feed…so basically Facebook is slowly becoming a platform where people pay to talk and only being able to listen to conversations that have been paid for.