The latest change made to Facebook's News Feed comes not off the back of complaints about paid advertising, but off page posts that "feel too promotional," according to an update on the Facebook blog.
The change, which was made in response to survey data, aims to reduce the number of unpaid promotional posts users see in their feed. Facebook said this will not increase the number of paid ads users see when they log into Facebook; it will just show fewer promotional posts.
Facebook identified three traits that make what it calls "organic posts" — posts that individuals and companies write on their wall for their fans to see — feel too promotional. These traits include posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app, posts that push people to enter sweepstakes with no real context, and posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.
"Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time," Facebook said in the post today. "This change is about giving people the best Facebook experience possible and being responsive to what they have told us."
The change to News Feed could be a blow to businesses that have relied on their Facebook pages as free ad space. But in a blog post written in June, Facebook's Ads Product Marketing team lead Brian Boland said businesses can still succeed on Facebook with decreased reach. Instead of relying on something to "go viral" on Facebook, Boland recommended businesses use the platform to achieve specific objectives, like driving in-store sales or boosting app downloads. Alternatively, they could just pay for ad space.