Is Fan Page Traffic Tanking By Design?

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Ever since its IPO, the trust between Facebook and its users has been on very shaky ground. The latest charge is coming from leery page owners is that Facebook is intentionally making it harder to get page updates shown on news feeds.

According to ARS Technica, a growing hoard of angry users say Facebook is driving down organic views in order to make page owners pay for Promoted Posts

I’m going to be controversial here and say that it looks like Facebook is tanking Page traffic because Facebook is tanking page traffic.

In fact, FB admits that they are intentionally limiting the reach of status updates…

The key difference is motive. Facebook says it’s trying to clean up news feeds by only showing the most relevant stories in a user’s feed. As a user, I can appreciate that. In addition, Facebook has created new tools that allow users to sort and filter who’s updates they see (and don’t see).

Clearly, there was a need to keep news feeds relevant, and these new features are almost certainly a good thing for users.

Still, it’s not hard to see why so many page owners are upset. They’re watching their reach and clicks falling month after month, at the exact same time that Facbook is clearly scrambling to squeeze the most out of its ad business — to appease pessimistic shareholders.

The optics aren’t good. That’s just all there is to it.

According to the New York Observer, even Facebook’s heavy hitters are watching their reach shrivel up like last week’s jack o’lantern. It doesn’t matter if you’re Digital Marketer or Walmart, your posts will only reach roughly 15% of your account’s fans.

If you want to reach the remaining 85%, you’re going to need to pay. It’s the new Facebook reality, like it or not.


About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
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  • Kelly says:

    If Brandon is correct about ads, perhaps the silver lining in this cloud is that we can once again use “sneaky” ad strategies that used to work like gangbusters, but which have fallen into disfavour because places like Google and FB cracked down on “abuses.”

    If FB has turned a blind eye to “questionable” ads then maybe we should take advantage. You know, you stab my back, I’ll stab yours.

    Anyone experimenting?

  • Timothy says:

    Terrible, terrible move on FB’s part. Making people pay for something that was once free almost always backfires.

    For years we’ve been told “your biz needs a presence on FB” and now it has become relevant.

    Obviously the “trying to clean up the feed to show relevant posts” is BS. If I clicked Like on a fan page it’s because I wanted to see those updates. If they get too frequent or too irrelevant I will go unlike the page myself..pretty sure we’ve all done that, right?

    I don’t need FB making decisions for me. This is clearly profit motivated. It will backfire. In fact it already has.

    This is worth a read:

  • Kate Bourland says:

    What I’m seeing, even with paid posts, is that I’m reaching customers that I don’t want to reach. I run a local page. When I pay for posts I get “likes” from Asia? Not my target audience at all.

    Facebook is confusing enough for marketers without this ridiculousness. What we are seeing is the downside of a public company.

  • Brandon says:

    I don’t think the motive that FB claims is accurate at all…

    I have a page with 120k fans, that has no user engagement. When I post on that page, the same %age of people see my posts, as another page I manage with 8k fans, with an incredibly active fan base (approx. 70% of the fans “talking about” the topic).

    The only item that seems to matter is how enticing the update is, and that’s good for a measly few percent increase in users reached.

    Also, I can get really terrible ads approved (that would have gotten me banned before) since the IPO tanked. I think their motive is money, money, money…