Back in October of 2012, I wrote about Facebook’s decision to alter the overall reach of, as they are now known, “free posts.” At the time, the introduction of paid posts limited most independent businesses and creators’ overall reach by a rumored 30 percent, a figure that could get much lower starting Thursday.
Last week, Business Insider reported that they had fairly substantial evidence that Facebook’s updated News Feed, which will be unveiled this Thursday during a media event in Menlo Park, would focus more on larger pictures and more videos. With that in mind, many have grown concerned that Facebook will no longer be a feasible form of promotion without thousands to spend on marketing.
At the beginning of the year, during a conference call with Wall Street analysts, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg explained that the social media company was going to roll out “different kinds of media” for advertisers, using examples like “bigger pictures” and “video.”
In terms of YouTube creators, Facebook’s promoted ads have already forced many creators to alter their marketing methods. In a post last week about his new mixtape, YouTube rapper DeStorm wrote, “I’m not posting the download link in this thread because Facebook now charges if you want everyone following you to see your posts. That’s sad!”
If promoted posts and paid advertising are already killing the amount of fans that small creators are able to engage, then the addition of larger pictures and videos purchased by advertisers will only shrink that overall reach.
Video advertisements have become a veritable golden goose for companies looking to snatch up ad space with minimal costs. Facebook is making the right choice by favoring videos on their News Feed, but it’s a choice that will potentially squeeze out any creators who cannot compete with multi-million dollar advertising budgets.
Although users are seeing a dramatic decrease in their reach, Facebook remains steadfast in their claims that the News Feed hasn’t been tweaked to limit free posts in favor or paid posts. As a Facebook representative told The New York Times, “We want to be really clear that the News Feed algorithm does not artificially suppress free distribution in order to get people to purchase promoted posts or ads.”
Still, YouTube creators like Kaleb Nation are feeling the lack of Facebook reach. The author and YouTubers posted on Facebook saying, “It’s kinda sad how Facebook doesn’t show my new posts to you. Out of 23,000 maybe 100 will see this unless I pay Facebook $50 for a ‘sponsored post’.”
Facebook naturally must meet investor expectations, and the social media site has provided us with years of advertising and networking. But introducing promoted posts that have exponentially limited the overall reach for non-paying users is pushing people’s patience for corporate shenanigans a bit too far. Sure, advertisers can salivate all they like over big pictures and videos, but what good will it do them once Facebook has successfully run off the majority of their users?