Facebook Wants Your Users to Unfollow You

We don’t typically cover much news here on the Success Agency blog but this recent Facebook story is one that affects pretty much everyone. If you haven’t heard or seen this already, Facebook is actively using pop-ups to remind users that they can unfollow Pages that they like. Most of us know that we can follow Pages by liking them and unfollow them by unliking them. But why would a company that is built on its users want to discourage users from engaging with brands?

Are there Positives in Less Likes?

On the surface it would seem that most brands would be unhappy with the suggestion that users unlike them. However, some people feel that having followers who are not actively engaged with brands unfollow them is good because it sort of trims the fat and can actually increase organic reach. Consider the research that says a large majority of Facebook fans only like pages because they want discounts or freebies. If the Facebook unfollow suggestion helps brands to discourage these types of users the positive perspective is that brands would only be left with active users.

What does Facebook have to say about this?

Facebook has admitted that organic reach is declining amongst brands and this is something we certainly have noticed on our Facebook page and that of our clients. Facebook’s VP of Ads Product Marketing Brian Boland said that this is happening for two main reasons: there is more and more content being created and shared everyday and the News Feed is supposed to show users the content that is most relevant to them.

What Boland did not say was what so many people, and brands, think to be the real truth behind minimizing brand posts in the news feed: advertising.

Is this All About Advertising Dollars?

What we know about Facebook right now is that yes, organic reach is on the decline and that Facebook is telling users that they can unfollow pages if they want. We also know that their VP of Ads Product Marketing has come out publicly to address the decline in organic reach but said it was not about advertising revenues.

We all understand that there is a lot of information getting shared within the News Feeds of our fans but part of good marketing for brands is engaging with fans so that they are more likely to want to see their content. The changes that Facebook is making will most likely see that brands get less visibility than before but the real question is whether brands will decide that paid advertising on the platform is the best option or simply working harder on their social media diversification strategy is a better route.

What are your thoughts on the Facebook unfollow suggestion and do you think this is good or bad for brands?