Around December 2, 2013 many Page admins reported a significant change in their Organic Reach. We analyzed the data and found a decrease for the typical Page. When we studied the data, we had a small sample size—a few days on either side of December 2nd. At that time we found that Organic Reach did drop for the typical Page from ~9.5% to about ~7.7%.
Enough time has passed to enable us to study a more substantial time frame. We’ve assembled a study examining the 28 days before and after December 2nd. We found that for the 28 days prior to December 2nd, Organic Reach was ~10.2%. The 28 days after December 2nd dropped to 7.8%. These numbers are very similar to the data we found just days after the change.
How Was Each Content Type Impacted?
We looked at each individual content type as well. All of the content types decreased over this same time period. Each dropped off to roughly the same relative amount. Status Updates remain the clear favorite for pure Organic Reach, although we caution to only use content type for Reach. It’s most important to focus on the content types that drive the most engagement.
What About Engagement Metrics?
Engagement per fan slightly decreased from 0.32% to 0.28%, however, this is within expected fluctuations. When Facebook makes a change that decreases average Reach, their goal is to maintain engagement. When Facebook maintains steady engagement it’s essentially a “win” from their perspective.
We also looked at Engagement Rate (Clicks + Likes + Comments + Shares / Organic Reach) for Links. Engagement Rate increased from 3.2% to 3.4%, which again is within expected fluctuations. We examined a wide variety of other metrics such as Viral Reach, Clicks per Person Reached, and Clicks per Fan – all of these metrics were within normal fluctuations. This implies that from an engagement perspective, numbers are holding steady.
Organic Reach Holding Steady Now
Examining how Organic Reach performed day over day illustrates a drop on or around December 2nd. After December 2nd, Reach tended to fluctuate around 7%. It appears that this number is holding relatively steady (aside from the dip around Christmas).
Organic Reach has decreased once again for Page admins. Now that we’ve studied the data with a more significant sample size, it appears that the drop in Reach may not be as severe as first thought. However, it does look like the drop is holding steady. It also appears that some brands were severely impacted, which we suspect is connected to a potential “quality score.” We’re still investigating how this score may be influenced.
Engagement maintained consistent ratios, which means overall Facebook should be happy with these changes. As usual, this continues to raise the bar for Facebook marketers and the news feed continues to be a more challenging place to get your content displayed.
How Was This Data Studied?
We examined ~100,000 posts over 11/4 -12/30 from approximately 1,000 Pages. For any general metrics, we averaged each Page’s metrics and looked at the median of all the Pages when examining aggregate data. Any data looking at “per fan” data examined the metric divided by the number of fans for that Page on the the day of posting.