If your business sees a decline in Facebook activity in the coming weeks, you can blame it on the latest newsfeed algorithm update. The changes announced on April 21st, 2015 shift more emphasis onto updates from users friends, which means less emphasis on updates from fanpages used by brands and businesses across the world.
For regular users, this newsfeed update should mean good things. Based on feedback and experimentation, Facebook is tweaking the algorithm to provide users more important updates from their friends, and fewer annoying updates about likes and status updates. The newsfeed will now show multiple consecutive posts from the same user, something that Facebook has explicitly downplayed in the past.
For a regular Facebook user, this all sounds pretty reasonable. But for admins who operate Facebook pages, the update is less than reassuring. While Facebook did not say that it’s dialing back updates from pages in the newsfeed, the added content from one’s friends has to come at the expense of other posts (like fanpages). Facebook confirms that “in some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”
If this is indeed the result of the latest update, it wouldn’t be the first time that fanpages got the short end of the stick on Facebook. Since boosted posts have become a part of the company’s revenue stream, the organic reach of posts from brands has declined.
Fanpage owners have found themselves to slowly consider leaving the Facebook game. A recent report showed a drop in shares of posts from media brands, something Facebook attributed up to “a bug.” Facebook was once a steady and reliable source of traffic for publishers, but the company has scaled back the number of visitors it sends to media outlets.
The update is still in its early stages, and we will have to wait for more data to see how this latest update will pan out. Facebook is constantly squeezing out content creators, the very same people who made Facebook what it is today. For years companies would promote Facebook for free with their “like us on FB” campaigns. Now Facebook is showing their greedy side by (and this will sound a little harsh) stabbing publishers in the back, one update at a time.