On Friday, Facebook told marketers that if they want to reach customers, they will need to purchase ads.
The social media network announced that, beginning in January, it will change the rankings of some posts by marketers, including pitches to watch a television show or install an app, to reduce the number of ads in news feeds for its 1.35 billion users, NBC News reported.
Companies that previously sent ads from their free Facebook Pages will now have a harder time reaching fans.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Facebook”]
This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible. The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories — including Page posts — people see in their News Feeds.
This will mean that fewer fans of retailers will see notices about sales, while fewer fans of video game companies will see posts promoting new apps. Even posts from large advertisers that spend millions on Facebook ads will see posts disappear from news feeds unless they turn the posts into paid ads.
The company said it revamped its news feeds after customers complained about the high number of promotional posts, although the change will not change the number of ads people see, CNET reported.
Posts most likely to be affected by the new algorithm are those that encourage people to buy a product, install an app, sign up for a sweepstakes or reuse content from an ad, according to Facebook.
Marketers will now be forced to play by the new rules, as Facebook as one of the largest amounts of consumer data in the world and is the Google of social media advertising.
Over the last two years, the network has repeatedly changed its system to show just the top 300 or so items it predicts the person will want to see, compared to the 1,500 new items the average user could see when they log on.
When a brand publishes something on the network, just 2-8% of fans will see it, outside estimates report. Facebook has spent more time aggressively pushing its advertising products, such as pop up ads on users’ mobile phones. Facebook reported a 64% increase in advertising revenue in the third quarter, with ad prices that increased 274% over the last year.
Facebook recently sent another shock to investors when it said it plans to spend billions on projects that may never generate profit, the Wall Street Journal reported.