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Bad News for Facebook Publishers and Pages—Tests show drop in organic reach

Istanbul, Turkey - September 18, 2015: Apple Iphone 6 screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

Facebook is currently testing the new algorithm changes that might be a big change for anyone who is a page admin, contributor or owner. Publishers who mainly rely on the social giant to reach their target audience in order to send their brand message across might be benefitted the most with this update.

Facebook Newsfeed Split Test

The test Facebook currently undertaking is the split newsfeed, according to the details Facebook will split the newsfeed into two parts. The one would be covering the original source including friends and family. The second part would be featuring news/posts from publishers, brands, businesses.

Sounds too good and to organized for both the users and the publishers, Facebook reportedly testing the feature in six countries currently including Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.

Before this change, Facebook started rolling out the feature called “Explore Feed” this feature let users see posts from the businesses and brands they do not follow. This Explore Feed would be the home for content in the countries where the split test is taking place, even if you do not follow the brand you will still see the posts from them, said Filip Struharik, the reporter in Slovakia.

However, the exception remains the exception, boosted posts on Facebook which are paid to get into people’s newsfeeds.

Drop in Organic Reach

As Facebook is focusing more on original content from friends and family, people’s main news feed would be filled with posts of their friends and friends of friends. The publishers that rely on Facebook for their content dissemination, they might see a plunge in their organic reach, Struharik said there is a decrease of 66% in organic reach in Slovakia.

This is quite worrisome for many brands and businesses, however, Adam Mosseri Facebook head of Newsfeed said on Monday, “This is only the test and it’s not global, there are no plans to make it global, said on Twitter


Later he wrote a blog post in which he explained the reasoning of the tests, according to it, the goal for the test is to understand the people’s preference, whether they want their newsfeed separated from brands or they wish to continue with what it is now. We measure the user’s response and think about the idea worth pursuing or not.

With this recent test, Facebook now ostensibly looking to improve their user experience and becoming more user-friendly it might elevate the users experience on one hand and might shatter the publisher’s trust on the other hand if this happens then publishers might seek alternatives resulting in a perpetual decline in Facebook user engagement and eventually usage.