Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and "Star Trek" actor George Takei both complained recently that Facebook reduced the "reach" of their posts, limiting the number of fans likely to see any given post.
More seriously, two executives at major social media agencies owned by WPP group claimed the same thing -- only with data.
In response, Facebook formally denied that it is "gaming" its Edgerank post algorithm to reduce the reach of posts (and thus force advertisers to pay to promote posts to reach all their fans).
Now comes PageLever, a Facebook analytics company, which gave Mashable some data that shows that the bigger fanbase your Facebook page has, the lower reach any individual post has. Brands with small fanbases of fewer than 10,000 people can get nearly 20 percent of them to see any individual post. But brands like Coca-Cola and Walmart, who have more than 1 million fans, can only get about 6 percent of them to see any given post -- unless they pay:
It appears that the data is suggesting Facebook's algorithm discriminates against bigger brands. It encourages smaller brands because they get triple the reach of their larger competitors. But the more successful a brand becomes on Facebook, the more its organic average reach dwindles.
In fact, a source tells us, as a page gets larger, it expands beyond the ring of super-loyal fans to people who like the brand but aren't in love with it but the reach decreases because the new, less-loyal fans see stories less frequently.
By the time any company has more than 100,000 fans, of course, they're pretty dependent on Facebook as a marketing medium -- and thus may be more likely to pay to promote posts.
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