Facebook: The Free Ride Going To Be Over Soon?

It’s no secret that Facebook has been slashing organic reach for brand pages. In a sales deck sent to partners last year the company bluntly said: “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.” However, the company didn’t mention the % of decline.  The last officially disclosed number  was 16% in April, 2012. In a report  by Social@Ogilvy ( which analysed more than 100 brand pages), by February 2014 organic reach hovered at 6 percent, a decline of 49 percent from peak levels in October. For large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent in February.  

 A recent report published by technical blog Valleywag quotes an unnamed source saying that Facebook is planning to slash down the organic reach to 1% or 2%.  

 After the report got published, CNET confirmed this with Facebook. However, the spokesperson didn’t confirm the percentage of fans who would see the posts on their news feed.  

 Another worry that’s bothering the marketers are fake fans. Forrester’s Nate Elliot writes – Many marketers and many publishers are reporting that huge percentages of their fans come from emerging markets where they didn’t expect to find an audience. The kicker? They’re saying many of those fans don’t seem to interact with people or with branded content — they seem to do little other than “like” thousands and thousands of brand pages. The conclusion some marketers are coming to: The paid ads Facebook encourages them to buy often lead to “fake” fans generated by “like farms.”


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