R.I.P. Organic Reach - Facebook


Do you still think that Facebook is doing its job to connect people?


Facebook had a turbulent couple of years, managing to get tied up in fake news and election scandals, get heat for allowing certain content to show on its feeds, and bringing out a messenger app…for kids.

Now, in 2018, Zuckerberg wants to ‘fix’ Facebook.
But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people. — Mark Zuckerberg
According to Facebook’s overlord, ‘Pages’ have swamped the feed with bloated and bland content, pushing out all the interesting stuff on the platform like pictures of people you don’t like on their holiday, or with their cats, or their babies, or with their dinner…

You know, the ‘meaningful’ stuff.

So Zuckerberg’s solution is to show less pages, and more stuff.

Your Valuable Page’s Content Isn’t Valued

Facebook wants to return to being a social network rather than a news organisation, or a shop window. The company has always denied it is a media company, mind.

In my opinion, Facebook’s issue is not that it is suffering an identity crisis. Its problems lie with its algorithms and its structure.


Whether the ad or page is selling shoes or Nazi propaganda, it’s all the same to the code. It is pumped out to the targeted audience regardless.

It can’t differentiate between a news story on an US election story that is ‘fake’, and a local artist selling his work, or a woman holding a local fundraiser.

So Facebook got its pants pulled down for failing to control its newsfeeds. Now it has climbed down from the naughty step and is seeking revenge.

The algorithm is changing to choke the reach of ‘Pages’ completely. They have been deemed the enemy and the guilty party in pushing out ‘fake news’ and the influencing content that potentially affected US elections etc.



Fair enough… except there is not only one category of ‘Pages’ on the platform.

Most ‘Pages’ are genuine businesses like myself; artists, makers, journalists etc who are putting out content that is of interest and value to the local area.

Why should pages that offer value to their followers suffer because Facebook can’t build a system that can funnel the shit off the feed?


Why does the creator get lumped in with the faker?


Organic Vs The Paywall

Facebook was initially a great platform for businesses, especially small businesses and startups. And it is easy to see why these businesses chose to tap into Facebook — it now has 2 billion monthly users after all.

Back in it’s hay day, organic reach was somewhere around the 16% mark, meaning you could reach 16% of your audience naturally, without paying. It is kinda a shitty number in truth, and businesses felt a little short changed.

Yet it got so much worse.

Year after year, it was clamped down to somewhere around a terrible 2%.


Now, after a year of problems with Russian ads and fake news stories, Zuckerberg has decided all pages must now suffer, and be removed to some part of Facebook called an ‘Explore Feed’ which we all know no one will click on.


“the final nail in the existing coffin” of organic reach — Doug Baker, AnalogFolk.
Organic reach will soon be 0%.

Nul points.

Nada.

It all comes down to the bastard algorithms.

Now, your dream of organic reach and growth is dead, and lies behind a paywall. So, the exact opposite of organic.



Fewer people will be seeing your Page’s organic posts on Facebook, which means fewer clicks, comments, and shares. And having fewer of those interactions means fewer conversions, leads, and customers.

The next kick in the teeth?

Facebook’s ad rates have risen by 35 percent in the last quarter alone.

The next? The frequency that ads appear on the newsfeed is to be decreased…

It is about to becoming a bidding war for advertisements on an increasingly smaller space, on an increasingly ineffective platform.

Just to make room for more pictures of cats?




The ‘Real’ Reason To Restrict Reach

The obvious, underlying reason why Facebook wants to end organic reach is not to improve our feeds, but of course to fill its pockets.

A problem with Facebook’s business structure is that its users are not its customers. The customers are those buying ads and reach. So the bottom line is, as long as the user numbers are high, Facebook doesn’t care about you.
It doesn’t care because it doesn’t have too. You can’t vote with your wallet and stop paying for the service because of course it is free.

Its shareholders certainly do not care. You are just the numbers that keep the advertising companies paying them.

Not happy about that? What can you do? Move to a different platform in protest?

Nice try, Facebook just bought it.


It has built an audience so big it has no competitors, and when they have come up against competition they have either replicated every innovative feature of their rival or just bought them out completely.

Facebook doesn’t want more interesting or relevant content. Facebook wants more users and more money.

Now, it wants every single businesses money.

It is the result of shareholder driven capitalism.

A desire to take over and control the market.

Read more here: medium.com/@sjmoore3

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