Businesses used to free promotion on Facebook are about to find their outreach opportunities diminished as the company gets serious about pushing its paid-advertising opportunities. Inside Facebook reports that it will become increasingly harder for business pages to get posts into consumer feeds if they’re not paying for that privilege.
This is largely due to increasing demand for paid space and will impact small businesses more than Fortune 500 firms who are used to paying as cost of entry.
“If you want to grow your business through Facebook marketing, you will very likely have to pay for advertising,” the report concludes, going on to assess that the social media giant “is not decreasing reach just to mess with small businesses and non-profits,” but rather is suffering an embarrassment of riches. “Every single business on Facebook wants to reach fans, but those people aren’t spending enough time on Facebook to account for the increased friend connections and pages to like.”
The number of small businesses with page on Facebook grew from 16 million in 2013 to 30 million in 2014, according to Facebook’s Director of Small Business Dan Levy.
As of late 2013 Facebook was taking in apporximately $1.8 billion per quarter in paid advertising, according to Business Insider, which includes among the Top 2013 advertisers on FacebookSamsung, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, AT&T, Amazon, Unilever, Nestle, Ford, Annheuser-Busch InBev and Coca Cola.
The fourth quarter of 2013 was the biggest ever for paid advertising on Facebook, according to data collected by Nanigans, which tracked a double-digit increase from the same period a year prior. Meanwhile, Marketingland posited a 191% increase YoY increase for 2014 Q1.
Analysts have commented on the complexity of Facebook’s frequently evolving advertising rules, with some calling out quriks in Facebook’s algorithms.