There's been a lot of chatter lately about how Facebook has been severely limiting the content readers see on Facebook. The reality is that no matter what you do as a reader, or what we do as writers, very little is showing up on your news feed from the pages you follow. We food bloggers have been chatting behind the scenes, trying to figure out the best way to deal with this.
I have 8,000 followers on my page, The Culinary Life. Over the past few months my engagement has slowed to less than a trickle -- a tiny fraction of what it was at the beginning of the year. Now, when I post to my Facebook page, only 100 people see those posts (on average). That is about 1 percent of my followers. Facebook then tries to charge me $20 so that you can see my content. Given that I don't make any money from the stories and photos I post -- there are not any ads on my site -- paying hundreds of dollars a month to access the fans who willingly liked my page is just not possible.
To make matter worse, Facebook has been charging page owners to run ads, which is in essence buying followers. That's not a problem in and of itself, given that Facebook is a business, but when they charge to grow a page's following and then remove access to those very same followers after they've accepted money for them, well, I find that incredibly unethical.
And the result is...
Given this marked decrease in reach (which is apparently only going to get worse), many bloggers are posting far less frequently on Facebook since you are not seeing our posts anyways. How are we reaching our readers, now that Facebook is no longer useful or relevant as a way to share blogged content? We are revamping our newsletter, encouraging readers to receive new posts by email, and exploring Google+ and Twitter more heavily than we were this time last year. If you're really interested in the delicious things we want to share, you will likely have to look elsewhere than Facebook.
As food bloggers, we want to keep sharing our culinary content with you, but unfortunately, Facebook is not a place we can do that anymore.
Personally, I'm very sad that Facebook has decided to exclude the Internet community from accessing our loyal friends and fans, you who we love so dearly and are the reason we put so much work into creating recipes, photographing dishes, and publishing post after post. Really, you are the reason we work so hard. It's terrible that Facebook has decided to hide our work from your eyes after you've already expressed interest in seeing it. We are not large brands selling products; the vast majority of food bloggers are moms, dads, husbands, wives, hobbyists, students, writers. We are everyday folks who just want to invite you into our kitchens, and we do not have a multi-million dollar marketing budgets to do so.
Until Facebook allows us access to the people who have chosen to make us a part of their lives, I'm afraid Facebook will continually become less of a platform where you will find your favorite foods and recipes.
About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts. She also publishes a monthly culinary newsletter full of stories, review, and helpful tips.