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Facebook algorithm switch affects media companies


Facebook algorithm switch affects media companies

According to a recent report from SocialFlow, media organisations that are posting content to social media site Facebook are reaching fewer people through the platform because of an algorithm update.

SocialFlow is a platform through which users post stories and articles to a variety of social media sites, including Facebook. Figures from the site show that around half a million articles are published through the tool each month.

The report suggests that content is reaching around 42% fewer people per story since the turn of the year. Stories that were posted to the social network reached an average audience of 68,000 users last month, a figure down from 117,000 from back in January and representing a decrease of around 49,000 viewers.

However, the number of posts being published by each publisher using the platform has increased over the five-month period. This means that the combined reach of all posts to Facebook has fallen from 42 billion posts in January to 37 billion in May. This has led to organisations putting pressure on the popular social network to explain its algorithm changes.

The statistics presented by SocialFlow have been backed up by research from NewsWhip, another social media tool, which suggests that there has also been a slowdown in engagement through likes, shares and comments on the network. Engagements from the top 10 publishers in the English language have seen the total number dip in the last nine months from 287 million engagements per month in July 2015, to 162 million per month in April this year.

This second set of research would suggest that there is a trend developing that needs to be addressed by Facebook. Its algorithms are constantly changing in order for the company to improve its users’ experience of the network.

The site has seen a lot of changes in recent times, including the introduction of the ‘Trending Topics’ toolbar which shows which matters are being discussed the most at that particular moment.

Companies spend a lot of time and resources creating content that is readable, sharable and interesting to their audiences. It has also become a huge part of the marketing strategy as digital agencies realise that “content is king” within Google and its search engine. This means the news that content is reaching fewer people once shared on social media may be concerning to those involved in the process, perhaps leading to them prioritising Twitter over Facebook.

Alan Littler

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