Facebook demotes publishers by reducing reach

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

Facebook has made it nearly impossible for publishers to reach their fans without paying for ads. I spend hours a day writing quality educational content… And then I should spend hundreds of Euros a month in order to reach just a couple thousand people who like it and want to read it?

I’ve invested a lot of my time (and also not a negligible amount of money) just in making sure that people who like my content also follow my Facebook page and get a notice when new content is available. I’ve done that in times when my posts often reached even a majority of my fans.

Right now, my posts reach only about 2% of my fans, and Facebook’s telling me that all I can do to increase this number is to pay for expensive ads. Facebook has admitted this officially:

We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually
decline over time [...]

and suggests:

To maximize delivery of your message in News Feed, your brand
should consider using paid distribution.

And this all after having fooled us into believing that if we invest time and money in a community of readers, we’ll be at least able to reach them. Now they are saying this was all in vain unless we are willing to pay much much more for ads. Well, I have a message for you too:

My dear Facebook,

This is not a business model, this is a scam, and I am not going to support you anymore. Like an increasing number of other publishers, I am going to remove your buttons from my website and concentrate on reaching my fans through other means, such as Google+ or a mailing list. Is that what you want? Is that what your users will profit from?


Your not really anymore user

Of course, I’ll keep posting my articles to my Facebook page; it’s just that 90% of my fans will probably never ever see them. If you are a publisher, I urge you not to spend money on Facebook advertizingdon’t feed the trolls. Maybe if they realize something’s wrong, they’ll change their mind.

Please, share this post and spread the word, so that people and publishers know what Facebook is doing.

Edit: Since I wrote this article, I have reinstated Facebook like buttons on this website, for one reason: Facebook still seems to work quite well for articles that have a potential to go viral (and I’ve made quite a lot of maps that have gone viral). However, the reach of ordinary articles is still abysmal.

By the way, I have written several educational ebooks. If you get a copy, you can learn new things and support this website at the same time—why don’t you check them out?