Important Changes to Facebook’s Organic Reach Metric

It’s been a long time coming, but Facebook is now officially changing the way it measures the organic reach of Page posts to be more consistent with the way they measure reach for ads.

What does that mean, you ask? Facebook tells us it means organic reach is about to go down for all customers but post engagement will remain the same. …Let’s unpack that together shall we?.

Organic Reach

Prior to this change, Facebook had calculated “organic reach” by adding up each time a post was PLACED INTO a person’s News Feed – regardless of if the post actually appeared on the person’s screen. So that meant a post could queue up on a user’s News Feed – way at the bottom, let’s say – and even though the user didn’t actually scroll down far enough to see it, it still counted as “organic reach”. Well, the party’s over folks.

Starting now, “organic reach” will be defined the same way it is for paid ads on Facebook – meaning a user has to actually SEE the post. They call it “viewable impressions.”

To provide more consistency across reporting, we will now measure Page organic reach in a similar manner as how we count ads – meaning that we’ll only report organic reach based on viewable impressions, or for posts that enter a person’s screen.   ~Facebook Marketing Partner Team

And why has Facebook decided to do this now? Paid, branded and boosted posts have become such a huge part of the Facebook landscape, the company simply can’t keep organic and paid posts on two different measurement scales any longer. Branded Content is officially a core business model. And if you aren’t taking advantage of that opportunity, ask us how SND Campaigns can help.

Nothing’s really changing, just becoming more accurate

So yes, you are going to see your Reach numbers go down as the year progresses. But the silver lining is, it’s not because you’re actually reaching fewer eyes – it’s because the metric hasn’t really been honest with you up until now. Reach is going down because it’s being corrected.  This change won’t impact delivery of ads or organic content and the same number of real eyes will be seeing your real posts. That’s why, according to Facebook, your engagement rates will not fall.

This update will begin to roll globally to all pages in the week of February 12th (this week). You can find more details about it in this Facebook blog post from February 9th.