There’s been much news about the Facebook News Feed Algorithm which seems to remove posts from most of our friends and the pages we’ve liked — some might claim for reasons of wanting people to buy promoted posts. While Facebook claims that the changes are to boost engagement — claiming that people are more likely to make updates when they see updates from others (but not from pages) — I think this leaves out a huge chunk of the Internet/Facebook audience — The Lurkers.
If you manage a Facebook Page for you ecommerce business, you may have noticed your organic reach and engagement has tanked lately. Analysis of the Internet Retailer 500 Facebook Pages shows engagement sunk 27% in 2013 vs 2012, and rumors abound that Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is increasingly hiding Page posts to force marketers to pay for exposure in the News Feed. — Hacking the Facebook News Feed Algorithm by Linda Bustos
Lurkers are people who read and consume content — probably even regularly, but never share, like or comment on it. They find the content valuable enough to consume, but not enough to take an action. Many people just aren’t the type of person that feels comfortable with commenting or sharing online. But they do find content valuable, and sites that can provide valuable content regularly are useful to this type of content consumption.
If Facebook discounts people who just read content (maybe not even clicking on the links), and removes that content from feed — is that providing a service to that type of person? My argument is that is not. Even the least Internet saavy has noticed that Facebook is “tampering” with their feeds. Will this make Facebook less useful in general? Time will say, but I certainly have seen the impact in my own content consumption — preferring to get content from my feed reader, Feedly, or maybe even Google+ which doesn’t filter my feed.
What do you think?