Facebook Algorithm Changes Are Hurting Publishers; Here’s Proof

This is the problem with relying too heavily on walled gardens: When they change their rules, there’s no recourse. According to the 2017 Social Video Performance Report released today by online video creation platform Wochit, Facebook’s move to de-prioritize publisher and brand content led to a disastrous reduction of video views for the last two quarters. Changes made by Facebook in the first half of 2017 resulted in declines of 8 to 15 percent in the second half of the year.

Facebook declinesWhile the social network announced changes to its newsfeed only recently, it actually began deprioritizing brand and publisher content early in 2017. As this chart shows, gains brands and publishers made in the first half of the year were eroded in the second. Facebook video views declined by 8 percent in the third quarter and 15 percent in the fourth quarter.

“While we’re only seeing the headlines about Facebook’s latest changes now, our 2017 report shows the impact is already setting in, and this makes it even more important for brands and publishers to know and act on trends,” says Wochit co-founder and CEO Dror Ginzberg.

The key to avoiding a Facebook apocalypse is making sure the brand or site isn’t overly reliant on Facebook for its views and social strategy. And keep in mind that storytelling matters no matter the platform.

“Let’s remember that, even with algorithm changes, Facebook is second to none when it comes to opportunity to reach and engage with audiences,” Ginzberg says. “The best way to capitalize on that is to focus on delivering great video storytelling that will create meaningful engagement with your audience. This was true before Facebook’s announcement, is relevant across platforms as well as owned and operated sites, and it will remain true after it.”

Wochit’s data comes from a survey of 33,000 videos posted by 300 brands to 500 Facebook pages. For more of the year’s top social video trends, view the full report (no registration required).


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