New Facebook ‘Pages Feed’ is bad news for business.

Facebook have now launched the new ‘Pages feed’, allegedly as a response from businesses who were unhappy that not all of their pages posts were appearing on their fan’s news feeds. Facebook uses a complex EdgeRanking algorithm to determine which page posts are relevent, and when to display them to users. Historically only a percentage of posts get displayed due to the sheer number of pages the average user ‘Likes’. To display them all, at all times, would completely fill user’s news feed on a daily basis. In that sense, I’m sort of on Facebook’s side in wanting some method to filter them down.

Critics have accused Facebook of profiteering on this practice, claiming that it is compelling businesses to pay to promote their posts in order to ensure they’re seen by fans. As posts are typically only seen by 20-30% of a page’s fanbase, there is some merit to this argument.

And so we have Facebook’s new ‘Pages Feed’, which shows all posts by all pages that you’re a fan of. Great! Except it’s not great. The knock-on effect is that even fewer posts from pages are now being seen on the regular News Feed. By my estimate, my page posts are now only seen by 10-15% of fans. Not surpringly, Facebook users aren’t particularly motivated to click on a seperate feed in the sure knowledge that a majority of posts will be promotions or basic spam. So rather being being good for business and page owners, this is actually bad. Very bad.

The pressure is now on businesses to promote all of their posts if they want any significant number of their fans to see them. In my initial tests I need to promote posts for at least $5 or $10 to ensure they’re seen by as many users as they previously used to for free.

Yes, Facebook still need to implement monetisation methods to become truly profitable, but we’re not so stupid that we’re going to be sold a new ‘feature’ as a benefit when it’s actually quite the opposite.