Facebook Is Reportedly About To Slash Your Page’s Organic Reach Even More

By: Chris Crum - March 19, 2014

Facebook is showing Pages’ organic posts to fewer and fewer people as time goes on.

Have you noticed a dramatic drop in the visibility of your own posts? Let us know in the comments.

As you may know, in December, the company pushed out an algorithm change to its News Feed, which severely impacted the organic reach for many Pages, but recent research from Ogilvy shows it was already getting bad before that, and is on a steady path downward with reach as low as 6% of Pages’ audiences by last month.

Now, Sam Biddle at Gawker’s Valleywag is reporting that it’s about to drop even further:

A source professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, tells Valleywag that the social network is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent. That would mean an advertising giant like Nike, which has spent a great deal of internet effort collecting over 16 million Facebook likes, would only be able to affect of around a 160,000 of them when it pushes out a post. Companies like Gawker, too, rely on gratis Facebook propagation for a huge amount of their audience.

As Biddle notes, the less likes a Page has, the fewer that number will be. Good luck getting any visibility if you don’t have many.

“That 160,000 still sounds like a lot of people, sure,” he writes. “But how about my favorite restaurant here in New York, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, which has only 3,281 likes—most likely locals who actually care about updates from a nearby restaurant? They would reach only a few dozen customers. A smaller business might only reach one. This also assumes the people ‘reached’ bother to even look at the post.”

This comes just a couple days after Forrester’s principal analyst said brands and agencies are also becoming “disillusioned” with Facebook’s advertising products as well, opting to try out other social sites.

Still, eMarketer is reporting that Facebook is gaining significant market share in the global ad market.

Facebook hasn’t exactly been shy about its strategy of organic reach reduction. Arrogant maybe, but not shy. Here’s what the company said in a sales deck Ad Age obtained in December:

We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.

Meaningful, eh? Meaningful as in not showing users posts from the Pages that they specified to Facebook that they “like”? Oh, they must have meant meaningful to Facebook.

Meanwhile, Facebook is making the News Feed more “meaningful” by adding content from Pages users haven’t even liked. With a recent redesign to the News Feed, they also removed the option to view by “most recent,” making the method to the madness all the more cryptic. At least they’re testing a “stories you might have missed” feature, though the only reason you’re missing them is that Facebook isn’t showing them to you to begin with.

Is Facebook taking the right approach with organic reach in the News Feed? Let us know what you think.

Image via Ogilvy

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • BiHola VaNrajsiNh

    yup…the way i am going in right..i notice thing before few month…..you only see the update of recently engage people..!!!

    • Ghaffar Ali

      Mate there is option of recent posts , see top left row and there is arrow down on the NEWS FEED strip click on that and click ‘Most Recent’ :)

  • SavingtheRepublicdotcom

    fb is poison now folks, new policies restricting page owners content from followers news feed is pure insanity. There is no point in Liking a page anymore. Time to find a new outlet where material can be shared freely and what you subscribe to you get with no restrictions

    • Chris Crum

      Twitter is pretty good about that so far.

  • Deondre Charelle Richmond

    no nobody likes this strategy.all i hear is complaints. a bad change is all i can say. all for profit, and it sitll wont be liked, even by big companies, who wont want to keep paying millions for facebook posts,they are fazing themselves out.

    • Countryfarm Lifestyles

      There is a gap in the market for some clever techie to create a similar product as Facebook used to be, not as it is now. I have lost a lot of traffic over the months, and continue to do so. My main social traffic now comes from Pinterest. In the future Facebook will soon become the dinosaur it is heading to be, because people like me who relies on its traffic for websites will go elsewhere. Why is it that organizations like Facebook and Google like to ruin a good thing by making “improvements”?

  • Jean Hitchins Morgan

    As a facebook user who doesn’t have a page or advertise I dislike this move greatly. I rarely see anything from the pages I like and see a lot from pages facebook thinks I should like but don’t. If it wasn’t for it being a way to keep in touch with friends and family I would leave entirely. As it is I have cut my time on the site down substantially.

    • Alex

      And this is the exact reason why Facebook is killing themselves with their own hands. If I had to buy shares right now, I wouldn’t buy them on Facebook. They are on a kamikaze suicide mission.

    • Jamie

      As a page owner, its extremely frustrating, no I dont pay to boost my reach, which is why FB is pushing this decline so their income increase. The price you have to pay is ridiculous. As for seeing pages you “like”, stay active. Like pics or statuses, comment and participate. That’s the only way OR go to their FB and click on Get Notifications, you won’t miss a post then.

  • Trudged

    I think Google+ is a good alternative! it’s not as saturated as Facebook. I think there’s definitely a market for a retro app that is as Facebook was. Time for Facebook to go the same way MySpace went.

    • Andria Payne-McKee

      you know I just started using google and instagram :) great ideas!

  • Bill

    FB sucks. Twitter, Tumblr even Pinterest – try ’em, you’ll like ’em. I love these idiots who start out with a great idea, building it – monetize it, then get greedy and destroy it. The folks still using FB, are the older crowd, who are just comfortable with it. The younger crowd, spending money have moved on.

  • http://www.walksandwalking.com/epping-forest/ Walks And Walking

    Use the new Facebook Power Editor to increase organic reach – it’s worked for http://www.walksandwalking.com Facebook page!

  • Jdavis

    I am guessing this is related to their IPO. Now that they have stock holders they have to make more money.

  • LinguaJunkie

    Noone on Facebook is in the mood to buy. It’s where bored people go. And bored people don’t care about “interacting” with their favorite company. So… with low ROI on ads (except for dating and “build your business secrets” scam companies, everyone else is gonna bounce.

  • Craig Wolford

    It’s too bad, the only motivator for large corporations is keeping investors happy. There was a time when businesses had pride in their contribution to their communities. I would love to live in a world in which people had more value than profit and reputation was something to protect.

    • http://www.islate.org/ Apple Tablet

      I agree, when most companies were family owned they used to have pride in their product, now it’s just strictly profits.

  • Lynne Walker

    I just started a page and I saw a dramatic drop. Within two weeks of really working on it. I have been able to get help with this from a few new friends that I met through the site.

  • Jonathan Wood

    Add this on top of Facebook’s horrible advertising customer support. I was promoting some page posts and the system was rejecting them because my logo contained a couple of words (they have a policy against images with text). This has happened several times.

    Once I got a person to review, the promotions were always approved. But getting a person to look was a pain. And, even when I reached a person, I initially got a canned response and had to keep pushing before they actually looked.

    This is the only company I directly pay money to yet can’t call to talk to a person because I don’t have a direct phone number or email address.

    They’ve become too big to try and make me as a customer happy. And I’m pretty fed up. I’ve also spend money building pages and so knowing they will show my page posts to even less of the audience I’ve built is consistent with my existing feelings towards Facebook.

    • Lily

      Same here, I spent a lot of money on ads on FB, but because of the lack of customer service, I decided to bring my money elsewhere. At least Google respond prompt when any advertising problem or query. It is unbelievable how FB can neglect their paying customers. You won’t find this attitude anywhere else. At the moment they think they have no competition, and we, businesses “have to” pay them to reach people. But I think very soon they’ll realize they’re wrong…

      • Base of Reason

        Done with facebook ads for both of my companies as of this week. I’ve been paying for ads for more likes for over a year. My
        engagement has steadily declined as they show my posts to less and less of my fans, while showing me ads saying that if I spend more money, they’ll actually show my posts to some of the fans I’ve already paid to have. Lame and greedy.

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk/ Alan

    I would have thought that small business owners were a significant portion of the overall audience. If they find Facebook of no value they will move. These people will not pay substantial sums to advertise in what is, for many, a poor media . The policy is therefore likely to backfire as it is unlikely to substantial increase revenue but risks reducing the audience.

    Apart from that if I like something why should I not receive updates if that is what I want? Why should I instead receive posts that I have no interest in? Facebook is therefore also reducing the usefulness of the service for many. Ill considered?

  • Andria Payne-McKee

    thank you for sharing, I saw that on my jewelry page I have hardly any views anymore and I wont pay to “promote” to a like farm. its annoying. I dont want to pay 50.00 for 5 likes from someone in another country who gets paid for it.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/McKee-Jewelry-Designs/247578775324008

  • Ray

    Facebook is a business and a business is a machine for harvesting cash.

    Facebook is now owned by the money men and they want to wring out as many dollars as they can. it doesnt matter if they kill the golden goose as long as they get a return, if they could double their money tomorrow they would kill it to do so.
    Its all about money…..

    Welcome back to a business website.

  • Heidi Fowler

    I am about to opt-out of Facebook as it isn’t worth my time. Firstly as a business page owner with minimal reach, and secondly as a follower of certain businesses for whom I now don’t see their posts either. I am a bit over it.

  • Pissed

    Have been noticing the decline for quite a few months. Fb makes enough money. It sucks that they think we will pay to let our already followers to see the posts. Some one will come up with another page! Fb is going to loose people but won’t give a crap!

  • Facebook user

    This is extremely selfish of FB to be doing, people and myself have put so much work into growing pages and for them to take a chunk like that away is crazy. Considering leaving to another social site and testing those out if it’s going to be this unreliable.

  • Andre’

    Definitely noticed one big drop in organic exposure after another…..since summer I believe. Nicely done article…..good observations at the end.

  • Lexie Lane

    Although Facebook is still the web’s social monster, they have declined quite a bit. The benefits people have are become less and less, because of the negative changes. People work increasingly hard to promote themselves through this outlet and for them to change it in such a way that negatively affects their work, then why wouldn’t we look for other outlets? Google Plus has so many benefits, along with other sites now. One of the best things about Facebook is its ability to help people find others that are related to specific people. I think it’s time some social network finds a way to compete with Facebook the best they can. I myself am getting tired of all their crazy rules.

  • Nitin Singh

    My page also Dropped its reach
    https://www.facebook.com/fulltechtricks

  • Nitin Singh

    Very nice Article, Thank you very much
    SEO Tips

  • fackbook

    fuck facebook, twitter to the rescue, lets switch to twitter!!!

  • http://doodleddoes.com/ Doodled

    Is it just me or why doesn’t Facebook introduce a paid scheme which guarantees your updates are shown to all the people who ‘like’ your page? The cost could be based on the number of ‘likes’ you have and Bob’s your uncle….?

  • Satsuma

    All the more reason for me to stop spending so much time on Facebook. Their strategy might just backfire. I want to see what I like, not what facebook wants me to see. And if they make it too difficult for me to see what I’m interested in, I won’t bother with it at all.

  • http://www.karenjulius.com/ Karen Julius, M.S

    Facebook is losing face, in my opinion. Some say Facebook is trying to get average people and small regional business to boost posts, or not be seen. Not nice, Facebook. Maybe Facebook is too large now (company size) or maybe they are just greedy. Get it together, Facebook.

  • Tedia Gamino

    Posted a few items for Attorney Carlos A. Gamino to do some AB testing for our Milwaukee Criminal Defense Trial Attorney page on FB. Sure enough the outreach is less than that say last year! #AttorneyCarlosAGamino

  • Steven Gall

    Personally, I use Facebook to see what my friends are doing, not to buy stuff or play virus tainted games. If a friend has something I want to buy, I will call them and ask. Glad I am not bombarded with lunch special 1000 away from my hometown.

  • dolce vita

    We’re already moving our site outreach to Twitter and Instagram. So over FB.

  • http://www.teamaguilar.com/ Alex Aguilar

    You would think they would make page posts have the same amount of visibility, this would make sure users only “Like” pages that they want to see updates from??? What if I subscribed to an email newsletter and only received 5% of the updates???

  • http://wredlich.com/ny/ Warren Redlich

    Our FB posts average much better than 10% reach, sometimes 50% or higher.

    Stay relevant to your fans. It’s working for us, at least for now.

  • http://relylocalhendersonville.com HendographMedia

    Yes, but who is really surprised by this move? We all know FB has been making a big push for paid v organic, so it can report to its shareholders. If you want to play, you gotta pay… G+ definitely! I think we’ll begin to see a shift in the user demographic. It may still be more business, but I think the demo is still majority of users, 25-44 with a stronger mail base (true?)…

  • Tiffany Lowman

    I own a business, my viewings dropped way down. My clients aren’t seeing my specials, New products or store closings. This is ridiculous! I understand here or there, but I have to scroll through 20 ads to one post by a friend. What about what the people want? Without us you’re nothing! LISTEN to the people! FB was for socializing and keeping each other up to date on what we’re interested in. Not looking at ads.

    • Brad

      Sadly No. Facebook is for looking at ads and making mega bucks for shareholders and higher office and paying the power bill and bandwidth costs for thousands of servers. That is its sole purpose now.

  • GreatContagion

    I had half a mind to log onto my facebook to see the uninvited ads people are talking about, but I didn’t feel like giving them the traffic. So I posted this, instead. If I were a business owner, I would definitely be switching to something else.

  • tushartajane

    This makes sense from (their) business POV — only if they can assure not throwing a fake Likes on sponsored items.

  • mike

    Personally I think that FB should be slapped with a lawsuit for all the potential business and revenue that Business customers will use that have used FB as a social media site to attract clients. . There needs to be a new FACEPUNCH service that we can subscribe to , let them lose business and revenue and people coming to them. Let businesses fail to use them for advertising and hit them where it hurts. I’ve been thinking more and more about going to google plus, and the days of myspace. I am sure someone of great initiative that has the funds and know how can create a new multimedia site that will take off with alot of features that FB has.

  • Jeff Alan

    This is a VERY UNWISE move by Facebook, speaking as both an active user who likes pages of interest for a reason AND someone who has a page with 1.3 millions likes (and I have invested in advertising to earn my place in the social network). Facebook is betraying those of us who invested in their old strategy. The new strategy depreciates our investment. – Jeff

  • http://www.gaptekupdate.com/ ebokalsel

    Well, It seems that facebook become more and more damned like google does.

    *sorry*

  • Runaway-Train

    Facebook will go the way of Myspace. These type of sites/businesses are not meant to go public. They have destroyed a good site for greed.

  • Jane

    What’s their end goal in doing this? How does it do anything other than make people mad at them? I just don’t get their purpose behind pissing us off. Can someone explain this to me?

  • Spillian

    hate this hate this hate this hate this hate this. I’ve put huge amounts of energy into building an audience for a startup on FB. I do pay to push content at times but deeply resent the dramatic drop in visibility of my materials. This is NOT inspiring me to buy more space on FB and instead will move me to drive my community elsewhere. Would love to hear thoughts on what people are viewing as better options elsewhere.

  • CX

    Yup my brand page has been affected by it badly. I was so shocked at the number of people reached, since I consistently posted at times where I assume traffic is high, and post photos and links of interesting articles.
    The ads also isn’t exactly much help of any useful leads.

  • E-Skullery

    Mine went from reaching 150+ people per post, to at best 55, and at worst 12.
    What the fudge facebook? Emily at E-Skullery

  • Alex

    It doesn’t really make sense. If they don’t make it worthy for businesses to get people to like them, businesses will stop making that happen. If businesses are already looking at other social media websites then perhaps it’s time for Facebook to change strategy. They can’t expect everything to be only paid because at the end of the day they are hurting their own website by driving organic content out and making everything ads, ads, ads… In my opinion they are killing their website with their own hands, and you can look at the difference between Google’s and Facebook’s business strategy and ponder on that.

  • BHF

    This is so unfair, I have several pages, one of which is close to 100k, the other has just hit 300K. The reason they are doing this is so people will pay stupid amounts of money to promote their posts! Disgusting fb.

  • Dong Lee

    it is extremely selfish of FB , i myself have put so much work into growing pages and for them to it took fraction of second to change all setting to bring all pages reach, started page in g+ , but page in fb with 150k , and g+ only 100 followers , again need to put all six month effort to get back to same position. depressed very depressed with FB mark

  • music works

    This is double dipping and it’s unethical. We paid FB to promote the page to get the likes and now they are hiding our posts to get us to pay for views from the very people we paid to have like our page in the first place. I am voting with my dollars and I suggest we all do the same. Effective today I am canceling our FB advertising campaign indefinitely.

  • FbS

    We’ll Just have to find a better Website… it will come along. I’m not paying facebook CHIT

  • Emile Larsh

    Having trolls shutdown a page over photos that were questionable at best has made me look into alternative sites to be able to post them. I set up a tumblr blog for my page so I don’t have to worry about the facebook police scouring for any little thing they know facebook will remove. Why tumblr? Facebook doesn’t have their sticky little fingers in it like Twitter or Instagram, and I’ll be damned if I am going to increase their traffic by setting up shop in any of their affiliates. You want to stick it to Facebook, don’t jump over to facebook lite.

  • Scott Bell

    I have a page which has 30,000 likes. Our weekly reach was 1 million before the change came in last week.. We’re now looking at barely 20% of that…. I always felt one of Facebook’s greatest achievements was giving creative people a platform to be heard from. I hope they change it back…. does anybody foresee that happening?

  • MEEP MOOP KABOOP

    Does Facebook not realize that not every page is a business?
    They have separate categories, like “Just for fun” or “Fictional Character”, but yet they mean nothing, since every page is apparently a business that must pay money just so someone can see it.
    Also, not having the “Most Recent” setting anymore is garbage. I don’t wanna see Doritos and Zoosk ads everywhere, I wanna see the pages I decided to “Like”.
    I also want to see stuff IN ORDER, not something 2 days old at the top of my newsfeed because someone decided to like it after a while.

    Facebook, you may be making a profit NOW, but the site will die out pretty soon.

  • leighstjohn

    I’ve started to migrate everything over to Google+. It’s funny, several months ago I asked Guy Kawasaki for some guidance in that I was starting to build my G+ presence, however almost none of the people I know nor my customers were on G+. His response – it’s time to get new friends and customers! …and he was right! (as he so often is)…