You've probably complained — and heard other people complain — that Facebook just seems to be filled with ads these days.
By contrast, the current received wisdom among advertisers is that Facebook restricts their content too much, only allowing about 15% of their posts to be seen in any individual's news feed (via an algorithm some have called Edgerank).
So Rob Leathern, CEO of Optimal — a Facebook ad buyer — decided to audit his own Facebook news feed to see who has actually got it right.
He found that even though he has liked 150 brands — many more than the average user — sponsored or commercial content was still a small minority of what makes it into his news feed. He produced a super-vertical graphic of his news feed (that looks to be several feet long if it were actual size) and divided it into friends' posts, organic posts from brands, and sponsored posts.
Here's the summary: only 16% of posts are from brands, and only 3% are paid ads. Everything else on Facebook is stuff from friends.
Rob Lethearn, Optimal
And here — get ready to start scrolling! — is a vertical image of his news feed, demarcated by ads, brand posts and friend posts:
Rob Leather, Optimal
Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.
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