Organic posts dropping in reach and non-promoted posts getting removed from news feed: welcome to Facebook’s new reality. Whilst most people around the world can go through their usual feed and explore content there, the news feed in six particular countries looks slightly different. Indeed, Facebook is testing a new system in Slovakia, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cambodia and Sri Lanka where all posts by Pages are moved from news feed to Explore feed, leaving the main feed for content from friends and ads.
Why is this change in news feed happening
Facebook wants to listen to its community about ways it can improve news feed. People have been wanting an easier way to see posts from friends and family. That’s why Facebook is testing one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends, and another separate space called Explore, with posts from pages. The goal of this test is to find out whether people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content.
Who is affected by this change in news feed
Since its test, Facebook has seen users’ engagement dropping on Facebook. According to a journalist, the change resulted in a decrease in interactions: ‘Pages are seeing dramatic drops in organic reach’. The biggest media pages in Slovakia have four times fewer interactions on Facebook, a similar drop is happening in Guatemala and Cambodia.
This move would most of all affect smaller publishers, as well as larger ones who solely rely on social media to bring in traffic and revenue, who are dependent on Facebook for their audience and who are not using adverts. This seems logical because if your reach is smaller, interactions are decreasing and your site doesn't get traffic then, of course, it will hurt your business.
How does it affect advertisers?
On the bright side, the change does not affect paid posts and thus businesses that use Facebook advertising. Those ads still appear on the news feed as normal, as do posts from people who have been following or friended your site. So, this change only affects organic content that is not boosted via Facebook advertising.
How long will this test on news feed go on?
According to the Head of Newsfeed at Facebook, Adam Mosseri, this test in the six countries may take several months as it needs time for people to adapt. There is no current plan to roll this test out beyond these six test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore.
Good to know
It’s good to know that this test in these six countries is different than the version of Explore that has already rolled out to most people. Outside of these countries, Explore is an additional feed featuring popular articles, videos and photos customised to each Facebook user based on content that might be interesting to them. And while Explore includes content from relevant pages, posts from pages that people like or follow will continue to appear in news feed.
Facebook is moving towards a news feed that only shows promoted posts and posts by friends and family. By delivering the best experiences for people it might actually also benefit your business. If people are more active and engaged with content that appears in news feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from your business.
So, whilst advertisers are not affected by this possible change in the news feed, publishers and other businesses who have only made use of organic posts will be affected the most. Thus, it seems most logical to move towards Facebook advertising and start boosting those posts. If you want your Facebook page posts to be seen in the old news feed, you will eventually have to start investing in ads.
Next week, we will share tips on how to overcome the new change in Facebook’s news feed. Stay tuned and sign up for our newsletter to not miss out!
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