Facebook caused a stink in 2012 when it limited the free (“organic”) reach of page posts by brand pages to 16 percent of total audience. Since then, organic reach for brand pages has shrunk to just 6 percent, on average — 2 percent for brands with more than 500,000 folllowers, according to a white paper by Social@Ogilvy’s Marshall Manson.

While the move seemed motivated by Facebook’s need to monetize its massive user base, the company argues that it’s also been good for brands. Without filtering, Facebook argues, users would be flooded with so much content in their news feed that brands would have an even harder time reaching them than they do now.

Using a “real-time” system for serving up content could put 1,500 or more stories into a user’s news feed, and “actually cause [brand pages’] organic reach to decrease further,” Facebook’s Brian Boland says in a blog post.

“Is organic reach dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money?” Boland asks rhetorically. “No.”

PandoDaily’s James Robinson says that while some of Boland’s observations about the problems of real-time content delivery are on target, Twitter, he notes, is also backing off “ever so slightly” from real time.

But Robinson says Boland’s claim that limiting organic reach had nothing to do with money is “laughable” and “a bit of an insult to our collective intelligence.” Source: pando.com.

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