Facebook To Brands: Want to advertise? Buy an Ad.


“Our goal with the News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see.” –Facebook

It’s no surprise that Facebook wants brands to pay up if they want their audience to actually see the content they post. More recently however, the social media giant released a newer and stronger initiative that has shocked and frustrated many brands, and Facebook has no regrets or reservations about it.

In an attempt to show that they’re no longer messing around when it comes to what they consider genuine content, starting in January 2015 users will see fewer posts from pages that post promotional content, unless they turn it into a paid ad. With the aim of increasing the relevance and quality of content that does appear in News Feeds, Facebook will begin adjusting content controls to bring more of what people actually want to see to their timelines. Anything that is too promotional will be pushed down and unlikely to be shown to anyone.

“Facebook is saying, ‘We’re in charge. You’re renting from us,’ ” said Debra Aho Williamson, a social media analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “But businesses continue to spend more money on advertising on Facebook, and users continue to spend more time and share more information on it.”

Below is an example of a page post that Facebook would consider “too promotional” and would most likely disappear from the news-feed. Organic views have already begun dropping over the past year ever since numerous controls were put in place by Facebook to promise more genuine posts will be seen by fans however businesses can now expect an even more significant drop in organic traffic beginning in January.


Businesses can no longer get away with promoting their brand without putting an advertising budget behind it, no matter how much they believe can be done organically. The perfect promotion could be running but unless brands decide to make an ad for it, nobody will see it. Facebook is trying to stay true to its loyal users by not cluttering their feeds with promotional posts that have no benefit to them.

This development is bad news for businesses who refuse to advertise, good news for users who will begin to see content they actually want. This new rule is kind of similar to the age old question ‘If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound’? In short, if you want your ad to be seen by your audience, buy it.

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Rachael Morrill

Social Media Manager at Customer Magnetism. Rachael helps brands reach their full potential through creative content strategies and out of the box social media campaigns. She loves writing about trending topics and is the first to show you that new viral video. She considers herself a pop culture savant, loves reading the news and has a slight obsession with pugs.