Unless companies shell out cash, post visibility is expected to drop to 1-2%.
Facebook, for all its positives and shortcomings, exists as a free space for you to connect with friends, family, games, and companies. Up until this point, any money you spend on the site -- buying gifts for people on their birthdays, or spending real currency on virtual in-game items -- has been completely elective. And that seemingly won't change for those of us who use Facebook on a personal/consumer level.
But the cost of doing business on Facebook is reportedly going through the roof.
Valleywag and Time are both reporting that Facebook is in the process of diluting how Pages are organically pushed towards consumers. In the near future, a brand's/Pages posts will be pushed to roughly 1 to 2 percent of that brand's followers, a major drop from where the figure sits now.
If you follow a brand or company on Facebook, that entity's posts are typically pushed into your News Feed about 20 percent of the time. The same goes for posts made by friends and family. This is why you don't typically see every single post made by a friend, relative, or (if you follow us) The Escapist. Depending on how the new policy shakes out, this means about 1,300 of The Escapist's 67,000-plus followers on Facebook would see our posts, as opposed to the 13,000 or so that potentially see posts now.
Of course Facebook will be supplying a view boost, assuming your company is willing to shell out the cash. For larger businesses like, as Valleywag points out, Nike, this will be but a small bump in the road. But smaller businesses, be it a local restaurant, tax accountant, or doctor, will feel the same squeeze.
Up until now, Facebook has been a free marketing tool for companies big and small. That free lunch is seemingly ending, and while it's sure to cause headaches the world 'round, we are talking about a business charging for its services here. I'm hoping some sort of tiered service comes from this shakeup (assuming it all proves to be correct) -- higher visibility fees for larger brands, while still potentially offering free services to smaller companies.
[Top image via bubblews]