Late last year, Facebook changed their algorithm for News Feed. The news had many content providers calling foul, but Facebook didn’t relent. The change meant we’d see less in our stream, and the company has now explained why they went ahead with the alteration.
If we’re going to slip the reasoning into a nutshell, you just plain use Facebook too much. According to Brian Bolan, Facebook’s marketing guru, the average user has about 1,500 news posts that can populate each time they log in. Those are competing with such things as vague status updates from friends and family or funny photos of babies doing baby things.
Rather than bombard you with a ton of content you’ll never get through, Facebook created a sort of top-down approach, feeding you about 300 posts from the constant flow, then leaving you to discover the rest if you like. The goal is engagement; Facebook doesn’t want to simply turn on the firehose of information. They’d rather you read, engage, and get involved.
Of course, the workaround to Organic Reach (as Facebook puts it) is paid promotions. The real argument from content providers is that Facebook was monetizing the News Feed, offering up a paid model for those posts some wanted pushed out. Facebook argues the new model wasn’t to make money, but there is no arguing they offer it up. Though they claim to have made the change to “reduce spam”, they’ve also made spam lucrative.