Facebook announced that it is changing the way organic reach for a Page’s posts is calculated. Previously, Pages’ organic reach counted posts that were in a users’ timeline, but were never in the visible portion of a user’s screen. However, Facebook has announced that it will move toward only counting viewable impressions. This means a post will have to be on a users’ screen in order for that person to count as part of a page’s reach, which is currently how Facebook measures paid reach.
The initial announcement was made in November 2016 and came with a warning that Page owners could see a 20 percent drop in organic reach, but Facebook never implemented that change. This may not surprise Page owners because they never saw the expected drop. Others it may surprise because this change was announced over a year ago and we’re still in the wait and see what happens stage.
Despite the delay, Facebook continues to say that organic reach will only include viewable posts. The company has yet to give a deadline for the switch over. It simply insists Page owners will be told some time in the future when the new viewability standard will take place.
At this point, it’s unclear what’s going on with this change. Facebook is busy focusing on algorithm changes to make user experience better, so it may take a while before the company takes another look at how it’s calculating reach. Also, while this change is one many marketers are looking for to because it gives a more accurate picture of how many people are seeing their Pages’ posts, Facebook is making it harder for those Pages’ to receive any organic reach. There’s no reason to believe switching over to viewable-only organic reach is anywhere near the top of Facebook’s list, especially when Facebook wants companies to pay for views.