Recent Facebook announcements about upcoming News Feed changes have been underscored by widespread sharing of the story that publishers are seeing declines of 20-something% in organic Facebook reach already over the last year. Digging into the data a little deeper, I think the story is even worse: I believe publishers are seeing traffic outside the Facebook ecosystem down more like 40%.
The last few years has seen breathless hot-takes, and dramatic over-reactions to the ebbs and flows of organic Facebook reach and traffic.
Off the top of my head, I remember:
- Buzzfeed reporting Facebook referral traffic outstripping Google traffic back in 2014 and it being covered with such moderate, careful headlines as and just like that Facebook became the most important entity in web journalism (The Atlantic) and the year Facebook blew past Google (recode).