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What Facebook taught us when it destroyed our organic reach

Facebook kicked off a test in six countries where it moved all Facebook Page posts from the News Feed to its new Explore Feed. It showed us that there are some things the media need not fear.

When you post something on your Facebook Page and you see that it has achieved a reach of 10,000, 50,000 or 500,000, you feel like something big is happening. But it’s not necessarily true. And when something on Facebook changes and all your numbers fall by 50% the next day, you feel like something terrible is happening. But this is also not necessarily true.

In recent days, the Slovak media have had a unique experience, which journalists in the rest of the world haven’t. They know what it feels like to see their reach and interactions on their Facebook Pages fall dramatically. They had a feeling that this day would come and were apprehensive, but they’re finding out that there was no reason to be afraid.

When Facebook decided to leave only posts from friends and ads in people’s News Feed and move everything else to a new place called Explore Feed, it showed publishers how they had been fooled by the numbers. Everyone’s reach fell by tens of percentage points, many by more than half. But despite this, traffic levels of most news portals have remained unchanged.

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