What types of posts will Facebook be limiting in exposure? According to the Facebook announcement of this new policy:
- Posts that are duplications of ad content
- Posts that are only about getting followers to install an app or buy a product
- Posts that don’t have any real context, other than pushing people to enter a sweepstakes or promotion
Additionally, business page posts will need to be “well designed, relevant, and pleasant.”
These move come after Facebook followed up on a number of user complaints. Facebook has been surveying users who have been complaining about seeing too many useless promotional posts as part of their news feeds. While about 33% of those promotional posts were paid advertising, the other two-thirds were posts from brand pages where Facebook didn’t get any money. As it is, only about 2 to 8 percent of business posts are showing up, which means the January shift will be an even bigger hit to businesses on Facebook.
For businesses, what would be the advantage of paying for advertising to reach followers and others? Facebook offers result tracking, and targets the ad placement specifically based on things such as geographic location and user interests.
Facebook is making the move to focus on quality posting, which means brands that make high quality posts with relevant content will not be downgraded. Their posts will still be able to reach their followers.
What this means for Facebook users is that their News Feed will be a little less cluttered. It also means they may miss out on content from favorite businesses that they enjoy or want to see. Rather than give the user sole discretion over what they want to see, and how much, Facebook will be arbitrarily deciding it for them. Given the statement from Facebook that users see 1,500 posts on any given day, some users may be grateful for the automatic feed-cleaning.
This move won’t hurt Facebook’s bottom line. In fact, it could add to it. Facebook has been pushing its advertising vehicles, with the New York Times also noting that “Facebook reported a 64 percent increase in advertising revenue to $2.96 billion and said ad prices rose 274 percent compared with the previous year.” The company claims that this increase has come about in part due to the demand by advertisers.
(Photo courtesy of mkhmarketing)