Is the Door Closing on Facebook’s Advertising Reach?

It’s bad news for the type of social media influencers who boost their “engagement” by sharing word games and kitten photos.
Mary Liebowitz
April 22, 2014 - 2 min. read

In a news post last week, Facebook announced that they would be cleaning up spammy posts in news feeds.

“The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time”, Facebook states, “so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them.”

Right now, Facebook is an open field for anyone willing to spend money on advertising. Reading between the lines, it looks like Facebook is taking measures to cut down on spam to be able to retain an audience willing to accept the presence of ads.

Facebook is focusing on cutting back on three types of posts:

  1. Like-baiting – soliciting “likes” to extend the reach of a post, usually with non-relevant content, such as cat photos and “Click like if you should have stayed in bed today!” posts.
  2. Frequently circulated content – pages that continue to repost content lose credibility. Twitter’s timeline is better suited for reposting the same message repeatedly, as the feed is continuously rolling, but Facebook pages move at a slower pace.
  3. Spammy links – misguiding posts that bring viewers to pages with ads or aggregator sites that frequently recirculate content.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Facebook organic reach

  • The quality of your content matters.
  • The relevancy of your content matters.

However, I think it’s also a sign that the door is closing on organic reach for Facebook ads, and impressions will primarily, if not solely, be collected by the businesses willing to pay for them. Where we were previously blessed by the engagement fairies to carry compelling, creative, or humorous ads off into the laps of Facebook users, Facebook is tightening the screws. Advertisers should have a clear picture of their ad performance and reach, and audit their ads to ensure they will survive this next round of scrutiny.

When is it happening?

Facebook says that spammer pages will see their distribution go down “over the next few months”. I think you should expect new advertising criteria from Facebook by Q4 at the latest.

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