Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is no long a platform where businesses could reach an audience without paying for ads. Many posts citing similar concern has been making headlines like “The Free-Marketing Gravy Train Is Over on Facebook.” This particular post supports its case by citing a study that found marketing posts are reaching only 6% compared to 12%, in October. However, Facebook should not be blamed for this as lower brand-post visibility has been the trend with every other digital advertising breakthrough, says Michael Lazerow, who is the CMO of ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, via Recode.net.

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On being asked about the decline in organic reach in its News Feed, a Facebook spokesman replied, “This is largely due to more competition driven by more sharing.” Though the comment sums up the trend, critics continue to complain.

Not a new trend

With more and more businesses moving to the web, free distribution goes down as competition for attention and “the importance of paid distribution increases.”

A similar case was witnessed, when businesses initially submitted their website to Yahoo. Since every business wanted to get listed, organic traffic declined. This moved the focus towards “banner” ads, link exchanges and eventually searches, according to Lazerow. The “organic” traffic from Yahoo is now almost zero, and the 40% click-through rate initially is now less than 0.1% on those ads.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn’t immune to this trend. Businesses were excited about the free traffic from search when Google was launched in 1998. However, two years later, Google came up with its AdWords system, and changed the game for good.

Need to understand how Facebook operates

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) with 1.23 billion users is a massive platform, therefore, it could show only few hundred stories “out of the thousands vying for their attention,” says Lazerow, and adds that “Each News Feed change is an effort to surface the highest-quality content, which is not an easy task at Facebook’s scale.”

Even cutting ties with the platform is not a solution as has been done recently by Eat24’s. Therefore, to get maximum attention one has to understand how Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) works: “if you want to succeed in the feed-first, mobile and social world we now find ourselves in, businesses have to realize that Facebook is not in the advertising business; instead it’s in a high-quality content business that facilitates curate the content to its massive user base.”