As of last week, Facebook have implemented the change they announced at the end of 2017 that an update to Facebook page organic reach reporting will result in numbers that will be up to 20 percent lower than was previously reported.
So, what does this mean? The first and most important detail to note is that there is not actually going to be any change to actual organic reach, just a change to the way Facebook interprets and reports this information to its users.
“Reach counts will now be based on viewable impressions. On Pages, we’ve historically defined reach as a person refreshing their News Feed and the post being placed in their feed. For paid ads reports, we’ve moved to a stricter definition that only counts reach once the post enters the person’s screen (“viewable impressions”), Facebook explained.
Because of this change, you may have noticed a significant drop in your reported organic reach over the past week. Facebook has been working to mitigate any concern or misunderstanding by presenting both metrics; previous organic reach and new organic reach. These comparative metrics are expected to be shown for the next couple of months to help with the transition.
Organic reach has always been ambiguous measure of success. When comparing this reporting with the more measurable actions such as likes, shares, comments, we can see that reach statistics are not as easy to confirm.
The issue with the measure of organic reach is that the number can change dramatically depending on Facebook’s definition of it, as we have seen with the most recent update. With reported organic reach, it’s hard to confirm accuracy, does your content reach someone when it is loaded in to a news feed, or when the user actually views the post? Does it need to be fully in view or does a partial view count as a reach number?
Our advice is to focus on the measures that report actions taken by users – comments, likes, shares, reactions – as these are solid statistics showing measurable results.
The announcement also included an update to the Facebook Page Insights within the mobile app, which is a redesign of which information is shown at the top of the page. You can read more about this update here.