Facebook Cracks Down on Ad-Only Facebook Page Updates

Updated on | By | Under the Category Social Media Marketing

Well, this piece of news is hardly Earth shattering. In fact, if you have been paying attention to ways to market on Facebook, it could be safe to say that you probably saw this coming. 

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’d know that one of the best ways to make money online is through Facebook fan pages. People need to simply like your fan page for them to see your updates. If enough people click ‘like’ on your updates, even more of your fans would see your updates. Pretty straightforward…

This is one of the most powerful ways to reach a huge number of people in a very short period of time. In fact, there are many Facebook marketers that run tens if not hundreds of Facebook fan pages with thousands if not hundreds of thousands of members on each. It doesn’t take a genius to see the traffic potential of such a setup. Best of all, this is completely free. If you have enough Facebook fan pages, you can reach a lot of people, you can send a lot of commercial messages, and you don’t have to pay Facebook a dime to do so.

Sure, Facebook has its own ad serving system and Facebook has tried to increase the chances of someone using their paid advertising system by reducing organic reach on pages but many Facebook marketers are just laughing at the system because why would they buy the cow when they can get the milk for free? It seems that somebody at Facebook finally got clued up.

Now Facebook has announced that, starting in January 2015, they will be cracking down on ad-only Facebook page updates. You can no longer send an update to your Facebook fans that consists solely of promotional material. Well, you can try but few people will see it. Facebook will tighten up its algorithm to ensure that the focus of timeline displays is on actual content.

You have to remember that Facebook is a public company. It needs to make money. Otherwise, the inflated price that people paid for its stock would not be worth it. It is perfectly understandable for Mark Zuckerberg and the crew to really start scrambling for as many creative ways to milk money out of Facebook.

Unfortunately, for quite some time now, Facebook fan pages were competing with Facebook for ad space. Now, with this new policy, Facebook is basically just reclaiming that ad space that it could have been making money from all this time.

Why the Sudden Change by Facebook then?

Facebook are saying that they ran several surveys and users have said they prefer less ad-only or spammy updates from Facebook fan pages that they’ve joined. Fair enough (pretty obvious really). After all, who likes getting promotion-only updates?

The main reason why you joined the Facebook fan page is because you’re looking to get informed of the latest news in that niche. You’re not really joining it so you can make the guy behind it some money, right? Again, fair enough.

But the reality behind this is that Facebook fan pages are still popular even though it’s clear that one of the main reasons for a Facebook page to exist is to promote offers through Facebook. Facebook users know this already yet continue to like page after page after page. People still join them despite the ads because people enjoy the whole experience.

You really can’t say that people hate ads so much that they would unlike the Facebook pages that they’ve joined. This is not happening. So the whole idea behind Facebook’s rationale of sticking up for page fan experience quality is shaky at best. I mean, I’m sure that applies to some people but on the whole, people probably don’t even care all that much. The real reason, I suspect, lies elsewhere.

It Increases Facebook Page Ad Reach

The real reason I think is that this is basically Facebook reclaiming otherwise lucrative ad inventory. Remember, this is a space or advertising opportunity that Facebook could be making a lot of money from. Many of these Facebook promoters are actually making hundreds of thousands of dollars every single day, whether you’re promoting legitimate real estate offers or scam multi-level marketing promotions, you can make a ton of money using Facebook.

Well, with this policy change, Facebook has made it a little bit harder for Facebook marketers to push their wares. Will it kill Facebook fan page spamming altogether? Absolutely not. People will still send commercial messages, but it would definitely reduce the return on effort. Instead, these advertisers would then be pushed or at least encouraged to use Facebook’s own self-served system to make sure that their ad-only updates have a wider reach and show up more often.

Facebook doesn’t care about what the user thinks. Facebook just wants to make more money (who can blame them). If they cared about the users as much as they’re claiming then they wouldn’t want any promotional material to go through. But Facebook is allowing people to pay for this privilege…

What do you think of the new changes coming to Facebook fan pages next year?

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

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