It is no secret that Facebook's organic reach has been declining. In its younger years, the 10-year-old social network encouraged marketers to make their marketing social, enlisting likes and followers. But over the past couple of years Facebook has shifted its communications to focus on the value it delivers through targeted reach.
Despite this gradual shif —and plenty of reports showing the decline in organic reach along the way—Facebook's news that it plans to change its algorithm to remove the number of overly promotional Pages posts seen in users’ News Feeds, has still caused quite a stir in the industry.
Facebook, which maintain a careful balancing act to keep its users, advertisers and (more recently) shareholders happy, claims the move will help it ensure the News Feed is relevant, personal and useful for its users.
Carolyn Everson, VP global marketing solutions, Facebook, told Campaign that while organic reach is declining due to the sheer volume of people and content on the site, brands can still "break out" when their creative resonates, naming Burberry and John Lewis as two recent examples.
"Our job is to give marketers the tools and the confidence that when they create content people love, the platform will take that signal from people and surface their content to a much greater audience," she said.
"And we don’t want marketers spending a dollar with us unless it drives real business results for them," she said.
Since marketers have been getting used to the idea that they have to pay up for their content to reach users, is last week's announcement really all that discouraging? Or does it spell the end of organic search on the social networking site?