Organic reach was already declining before change to News Feed algorithm
Facebook’s December 2013 announcement of a change to its News Feed algorithm has caused uproar among many, from brands and marketers to celebrities and bloggers, as it aims to drastically reduce the reach of organic posts to between 1% and 2%. However, research released in April 2014 by EdgeRank Checker—which measures the average impact of EdgeRank (the original name of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm)—noted that organic reach was already declining before this change, due to a surge in the number of posts users began to see after adding more friends and “liking” more brands on the social network.
According to EdgeRank Checker, the median organic reach of Facebook posts among Facebook pages worldwide fell from 16.0% in February 2012 to 6.5% in March 2014. While the largest drop in reach between the periods studied was seen between November 2013 and December 2013, the smallest occurred between December 2013 and March 2014—after the announcement.
Despite these ongoing declines, August 2013 polling by ExactTarget found that US Facebook marketers viewed organic growth—regular posts to entertain or inform followers—as one of the most effective tactics, cited by 67% of respondents; 58% had reported using the tactic. Facebook’s News Feed changes may affect how often marketers use organic posts, but their level of effectiveness in the future remains to be seen.