- With organic reach falling by the wayside on Facebook, brands must now pay to promote their content to audiences they used to reach for free — but the social giant is seemingly giving publishers preferential treatment.
- In what basically amounts to free advertising, publishers' pages are pushed to mobile users in posts resembling app install ads, all under the banner of "Get Interesting News." Recent CNN promotion, for example, netted the organization 76,000 likes between March and April.
- Brands, however, have basically been told that same reach is dependent upon their creation of compelling ads, and they are now even being policed for "spammy" approaches that involve begging for likes.
Facebook is the gatekeeper, and the lock has been changed. As the social giant's user base grew and it found itself in a position to assume a traditional role as an audience provider, brands should have seen this coming. Facebook says its recent moves have all been part of an effort to increase the quality of content showing up in users' feeds, and a big part of that includes improving the quality of promotion from brands on the site. Its factors for determining quality are still murky, but apparently are based on user surveys.
Even if brands step up their game and produce better content, however, will they still get the kind of treatment publishers seem to be getting for free? It's hard to imagine that being the case, especially now that the platform is shifting to a model where paid ads matter more than ever to brands wanting to reach their audience.