Have Facebook’s recent stock market troubles prompted it to make sweeping changes to their site that could cause severe problems for campaign organisations like ANH-Intl?
Our interest in this question stems from the sudden appearance on Facebook of something called ‘Promoted Posts’, which allows page owners to pay Facebook in order to increase the ‘Reach’ of individual posts. Another new addition is a figure below existing posts showing the percentage of people who ‘Like’ our page that actually received that post. Strangely enough, this figure often hovers around 16%.
Facebook's new Promoted Posts feature in action.
This set us thinking. Surely, when we post on our Facebook page, our posts are sent to the news feeds of everyone who Likes our page? That being the point of Facebook, after all: to act as a medium of social exchange between like-minded individuals and organisations, who sign up to pages they’re interested in on the understanding that Facebook will keep them up to date.
How naïve we were.
No, not the type of heavy metals we usually cover here at ANH-Intl, but the sort that involves hair, beer, guitars and shouting. In our search for answers about what’s going on at Facebook, we came across a post on a blog called No Clean Singing (NCS), where the Administrator of said Facebook page had researched exactly the same questions as us. (Warning for our more sensitive readers: some robust language is used at NCS!)
In short, the answers are:
Facebook justifies EdgeRank on the grounds that it reduces clutter for users, which is undoubtedly true. Equally undeniable is that it creates a huge incentive for page owners to take advantage of the newly rolled-out Promoted Post feature, and pay to increase the paltry 16% of followers who see each post.
Unfortunately, donation-funded campaign organisations suffer a double blow: restricted Reach due to EdgeRank, and pressure on limited funds to use a Promoted Post. And while EdgeRank was obviously not created as a response to the dire public float of Facebook, it’s easy to speculate that some new revenue-raising measure was needed in its wake. Cue the hasty introduction of Promoted Posts.
And cue users deserting Facebook in droves, we predict. Facebook’s day in the sun could soon be well and truly over.
Updated: 13 Jun 2012
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