Consumer Surveys · April 29, 2014

Facebook’s Branded Content Creep

By Edison Research

If you are looking for reasons why Facebook has been tinkering with the organic reach of branded content over the past several months, you needn’t look any further than this graph:

Facebook Feed 2

According to a representative sample of Americans 12+ who have profiles on Facebook, 62% perceive more branded content in their Facebook feeds today than they perceived one year ago. What’s more, 43% indicated that they believed there was “a lot more” company, brand, or product related content in their news feed. On the other side of the equation, 8% perceived “a little less” or “a lot less.”

While there have been many reasons posited for Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, certainly one reason is simply to improve user experience–after all, every brand or product post I see in a given, discrete Facebook session is a post I didn’t see from a friend or family member. What this chart indicates is that the perceived balance of content from people I know with content from brands has been shifting, and Facebook’s tinkering with the reach of brand pages may be an acknowledgement of that fact.

These data points were taken from The Infinite Dial 2014, from Edison Research and Triton Digital. The full study is available here, or on Slideshare.

How the Survey was Conducted:  A total of 2,023 persons were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media.  From January 13 to February 12, 2014, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older who were selected via Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling. The study includes a total of 808 cell phone interviews.

Get our latest insights delivered to your inbox.