Facebook Algorithm Change Forces Businesses to Pay to Reach Their Fans

If you manage a business page on Facebook, most likely you’ve noticed a huge change in the overall reach of your organic posts this year. Recent changes in the newsfeed algorithm have made organic reach drop from 16% of fans seeing your updates to 2% of fans.

Why would Facebook do this? Well, mostly because they can. With online marketers frustrated that all of their efforts on Facebook are now going to waste, Facebook can count on many of them turning to paid advertisements.

The idea is to clean up Facebook users’ newsfeeds. At first, Facebook insisted that only business pages that posted spam, or non-original content, like memes, would be affected by the change. Later Facebook fessed up that the newly-limited reach was intentional for all business pages. The company bluntly stated, “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.”

Who is hurting the most from this change? It’s not Taco Bell and Wells Fargo. Small businesses with budgets too small to accommodate paid advertisements will suffer the most.

Facebook claims that this algorithm change is better for its original users. However, users are already annoyed with the type of paid advertisements Facebook is forcing into their newsfeeds. Promoted content in the form of page status updates and images are frequently very spammy (weight loss ads in particular have been sketchy and obnoxious). Video advertisements are impending, which users are dreading; particularly in the wake of an update that plays videos on your newsfeed automatically. At least with business pages, users had the option of choosing to receive updates by liking or unliking the page, and could also hide updates from their newsfeed.

Despite complaints from both users and marketers, Facebook is still climbing. Shares rose 1.6% to a price of $54.67 this week. Businesses report an ROI from paid ads 58% higher in 2013 than 2012.

Some sources believe that this could finally be the end of Facebook. However, Facebook was created for the social interactions of the users, and despite bending an ear to Wall Street, still attempts to make real people their number one priority. And businesses will follow the users. We’ll see if users choose to leave the most popular social media platform with the onslaught of video ads in their newsfeeds.

Share your thoughts with us! Has Facebook finally gone too far? Or will users stay loyal a little longer?


Riley, Lauren. “The End Of Organic Reach = The End Of Facebook?” http://www.business2community.com/facebook/end-organic-reach-end-facebook-0718339#!qb0s6. (18 Dec. 2013).

Delo, Cotton. “Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads.” http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-admits-organic-reach-brand-posts-dipping/245530/. (18 Dec. 2013).

Martin, Scott. “Facebook plans to roll out video advertising.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/12/17/facebook-selling-marketers-video-ads/4051663/. (18 Dec. 2013).

Wagner, Kurt. “Are Facebook Ads Working? The Clicks Say Yes.” http://mashable.com/2013/10/28/facebook-ad-success-q3/. (18 Dec. 2013).

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