AdAge just told their readership Facebook states in a sales deck that:
We expect organic distrobution of an individual’s page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have meaningful experience on the site.
What that means in normal people talk is this: we are tweaking our algo so all you brands with your millions of dollars in marketing funds can no longer free-load. Pay up or your ‘introducing our deliciously fresh new toilet cleaner’ announcement will be buried in a mountain of “I hate my job, my life, my friends, I’m so fat I want to die” and “look at the bajillionth photo of my kid from an angle shifted 0.00099090809890834 pixels to the right” posts in the newsfeed.
Paying Facebook to make posts more visible isn’t a new practice, as I started seeing the shift back in 2011. I did a lot of digital work for major brands and entertainment properties that heavily relied on Facebook’s look at this post…again and again and again again every time someone comments or LIKEs effect. Hell, even regular people can pay to have their “my piece of shit boyfriend just cheated on me. I hope he dies.” Facebook update pinned to the top of our newsfeeds (I’ve seen it happen before haha).
I really don’t blame Facebook for finally cracking down and expecting mega brands with their super budgets to pay-up. The bummer lies with the small to mid-sized business looking to extend their reach. Or even startups that focus their entire traction strategies on social — namely Facebook.
Just like how we never saw another phenomenal success like Farmville on Facebook’s gaming platform (remember that?) I guess TOM’s success — the Japanese 500 portfolio company that reached 10M fans in less than a year — will never be repeated. Maybe they will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records or something.
I for one, welcome the change. It’ll be fun to see how the fluffy social media gurus-ninjas-futurists-[insert whatever else douche-y name here] will scramble to step their strategic games up.
May the best man or brand or strategist or agency win!