Worrying Facebook news field trial

The social media giant Facebook is currently trialling a second Facebook news feed which if rolled out globally could be catastrophic for businesses that rely on Facebook to reach customers.

Facebook is testing splitting the news feed into two separate feeds – one containing posts from friends and family, and the second comprised of posts from pages that you like and follow.

Businesses with Facebook business pages are already suffering a decline in organic reach due to Facebook’s algorithmic change. We wrote about this last summer: “Facebook for business just got harder“. A move to a separate news feed will reduce organic reach further still. The only way to guarantee visibility will be to sponsor posts or pay for adverts that will appear in the main Facebook news feed.

So far, the test is only being conducted in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia with no plans to roll out the change globally.

However, this latest test is a warning to businesses to not rely too heavily on this platform for their marketing. It demonstrates the control Facebook has and how quickly it can change the game.

We recommend using Facebook within a mix of other marketing activities. Where possible, direct customers to your own website which you control.