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While the data below is interesting it also points out something I’ve been saying for weeks about the new Facebook news flow for users and that is that they are breaking the validation model that keeps users addicted to the service. Users post things about themselves, their family, friends, company, and interesting things they find to get their existence validated by their circle of friends, but the new model does not allow for friends to see everything you post, because Facebooks new algorithm decides for your what is important and you may not see any of your friends’ posts, if the model doesn’t deem they are popular or important enough to you and it doesn’t seem to factor in the people you interact with regularly. To see everything requires a change in your settings for every friend for whom you want to see everything they post. This means if you want your friends to see everything you post, you have to ask them to change the setting in their account.

I am seeing anecdotal data, that this is resulting in more emailing of photos  and information and more photo posts to Picasa than previously was being done, because users want to be sure something they post is being seen and that they get feedback about it. I am not saying that this change will kill Facebook, but the primary inherent value of the site to most users is being fundamentally violated and it will reduce what gets shared per user. We will see a steady decline over time as to this data and I could be proved wrong, but I don’t think so. Facebook made changes in the interest of brands and advertisers, that are impacting the value of the service for users and that is never a good thing. It opens the door just a wee bit for competitors to jump in and if people are posting more to Picasa, then the opportunity is there for Google +.

Plenty of changes have been made to Facebook that pissed users off, but I have never seen this level of angst continue for users as they become more and more frustrated with the service not giving them the “stroke” they need/want.

Facebook thinks they can break all the rules, because they are Facebook, but it’s that type of arrogance that can lead to a full on crash eventually.

Further to the data that they released, I’m not sure that the change is even that great for brands:

Facebook’s changes, announced at its F8 Developers Conference last month, appear to have boosted brands’ visibility among more of their fans but decreased the frequency with which a brand’s fans see its messages

Somewhere along my career in marketing and web marketing especially, I remember brand and message repetition being important, but somehow the folks at Pagelever think that because there are more people seeing, that repetition isn’t important. I don’t quite get that, but maybe I don’t know what I am doing.

PageLever found total fan views of brand updates fell modestly — 0.4% on average — per brand page among the 300 pages studied. Yet unique views, which factors in how many individuals saw brand news, rose a fairly dramatic 24%.

News from brands themselves appears to fare much better under the new Facebook regime than news from fans or their friends about brands. Total views of comments from fans or their friends about brand news plummeted 50% post F8 among the 300 pages studied by PageLever. Unique views of those stories created by fans fell 26%.

Both drops are surprising given that the actual number of stories or comments from fans or their friends surged 18% in the period after F8, part of a broader increase in Facebook user interaction with brands. In net, that suggests the revised EdgeRank algorithm gives such fan and friend interactions with brands little visibility in newsfeeds.

via Reach Beats Frequency in Facebook’s New Layout | Digital – Advertising Age.