Facebook has yet again changed the algorithm behind its news feed to the effect that its users will see more posts from friends and family and fewer from brands and media outlets. What sounds like good news for users, will probably cause some concern among online publishers around the world.
The organic reach of news articles or other branded content on Facebook has reportedly been declining
for a while now and after this week’s announcement
, publishers might fear a further decline.
As our chart illustrates, Facebook has become an important traffic source for news publishers in recent years. In fact, it even overtook Google to become the largest source of referral traffic according to data published by Parse.ly
, a company providing online publishers with analytics tools. Given its importance as a traffic source, limiting the organic reach of articles is probably a clever way for Facebook to entice publishers to spend more money on promoting their content on what is the world's largest social network.