POLL: Is Facebook Suppressing Reach To Make Pages Pay?

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook addressed claims Monday that it has been decreasing pages’ reaches in an effort to make page administrators pay for advertising models such as promoted posts. The New York Times wrote about the issue again Tuesday, bringing up a company that built its business on Facebook, but can’t afford to reach the fans it has worked hard to acquire. Do you think Facebook is deliberately suppressing reach to make businesses pay?

New York Times writer Nick Bilton made another splash, this one coming after he claimed that Facebook was trying to squeeze him for money in order to reach his subscribers, by talking with a business that had to lay off an employee because of Facebook’s marketing policies.

Facebook once again denied the claims, in a statement to the newspaper:

We want to be really clear that the news feed algorithm does not artificially suppress free distribution in order to get people to purchase promoted posts or ads … News feed should show you the most interesting stories from your friends, people you follow, and pages you are connected to … As with other filtering algorithms, we look at numerous factors to decide which will be the most interesting story for each person. Over years of carefully monitoring how people engage with news feed, we have found that algorithmically showing the most relevant content is a better user experience and leads to more engagement overall.

However, Kirk Olivera of BikersPost disagrees with Facebook’s tactics. He told Bilton that his business has suffered because he can’t pay to reach the people who have liked his page:

We’ve seen dramatic traffic drops over the past year, and the rug just got pulled out from under us. Had I known that we were going to be charged to reach those fans as well, we would (have) not spent a dime with Facebook.

Readers: What do you think? Vote in the poll below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.