The Facebook “likes” you worked so hard to earn are worth less than you think.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine reported
“The average news feed story from a user profile reaches just 16 percent of their friends. Your actively shared links, photos, and status updates probably reach much higher than 16 percent of your friends, while more inane auto-generated posts about new friendships, wall posts, and articles you read may only be seen by your closest buddies.”
In other words, 16 percent of the things individuals and businesses post end up in their friends’ and followers’ news feeds.
That number doesn’t come from a third-party study, but instead Facebook’s
director of product marketing, Brian Boland, who spoke at this week’s Facebook Marketing Conference.
Exactly how stories land in a news feed remains a mystery, part of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm (which we tried to explain here
). For individuals, Facebook touts the 16 percent as a blessing; without its EdgeRank filter, news feeds would be packed with garbage. Brands on the other hand are missing out on eyeballs—which is why Facebook also unveiled its Reach Generation system
, enabling companies to buy ads in Facebook’s mobile news feed, logout page, and Web sidebar.
The result: Content from brands could be seen by 75 of their audience in a month. That’s quite a boost (and quite the sales pitch to brands).
Here’s how Facebook plans to make it happen, according to The Huffington Post
“Delivering more ads, which Facebook was careful to brand as ‘stories,’ means Facebook adjusts the News Feed and takes advantage of the real estate on users' homepages. A user will only see sponsored content from a brand in his or her News Feed if a friend has engaged with the brand's post, such as by ‘liking’ or commenting on it.
“‘When a brand wants to make sure they're going beyond that 16 percent … we optimize our systems to increase that delivery across the premium placements we talked about today,’ said [Boland]. ‘We look at ways to ensure fans will be able to see those stories that are created and it's something that's worked directly into the algorithm of our system to deliver out to fans.’
“The makeup of the advertising on Facebook is also going through a change: Rather than promoting company's slogans, banner ads or logos, Facebook will promote the content a company has posted on their page, be it a photo, status update, or poll.”
The brave new world just got a whole lot braver.
Of course, the other big news in the world of Facebook is the unveiling of Timeline for brands
. Read our first impression here