Well, that’s business

Facebook is testing moving publishers’ posts out of people’s news feeds unless the companies pay thousands of dollars to reach their audience.

The new format is being tried in six countries, including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka, and moves any posts that do not come from users’ friends and family into a secondary feed unless they are paid for. Paid promotions still appear in news feeds as normal.

The change could wreck the business models of small publishers who depend on organic sharing on Facebook for a large part of their audience. It could also have a big impact on larger companies such as BuzzFeed that create content designed to go viral on the site, as “likes” cause Facebook’s algorithm to promote them in news feeds.

Well, OK.

Critics yesterday accused Facebook of devious tactics, in giving publishers a huge organic reach and only later charging for that audience.

Yes, that’s how it works. You fiddle around until you’re doing something that people want and profit from then you charge them for that.

8 thoughts on “Well, that’s business”

  1. What’s the complaint?

    The free samples lasted longer than normal, and now FB is monetising the demand it created over quite a long period?

    Sorry, can’t get outraged about this.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    The change could wreck the business models of small publishers who depend on organic sharing on Facebook for a large part of their audience.

    In other words they are freeloading. Facebook took all the risks and did all the work to create a platform and recruit a lot of users. They are simply using it to make money. OK. Fair enough – if Facebook let’s them. But there is no harm in Facebook deciding otherwise. If they want a billion potential customers to read their bumpf, they can build their own social media app.

    It could also have a big impact on larger companies such as Buzzfeed that create content designed to go viral on the site

    Buzzfeed might suffer? Oh, the humanity! I cannot express the conflict and turmoil that roils within my breast right now.

  3. “The change could wreck the business models of small publishers who depend on organic sharing on Facebook for a large part of their audience.”

    Who bases their business model on free advertising on someone elses platform?

  4. Perhaps though now Facebook have a platform, and no risk, and are providing free distribution to avoid other networks being setup. In this way they are acting uncompetitively.

    Mind you Facebook is for old people so who cares?

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