Facebook users got coal in their stockings earlier this month when the social giant announced a few major changes. Henceforth, News Feed will prioritize "high quality content," or links to outside news articles.
The message to users: If you’d like anyone to see your next status update, you may want to include a shout-out to one of Facebook’s media partners. The network also said it would "bump" stories that generate discussion – so best stick with something controversial.
Meanwhile, marketers were given an offer they couldn’t refuse. In November, Facebook told them that it expects “organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”
In other words, those "likes" that everyone has spent the last few years accumulating will soon be useless. In the future, reaching out to followers will involve reaching for your wallet.
We might generously call this a bait-and-switch; less politely, a shakedown.