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19 Jun, 2023
1 min time to read

In May, significant changes to Facebook's algorithm caused news and media sites to experience a sharp drop in traffic, causing growing concern among publishers.

The apparent algorithm change, which many didn't notice until its impact became apparent, has hit the already fragile digital news industry. Because publishers rely heavily on Facebook as their primary source of traffic, the lack of transparency and communication from Meta is troubling.

According to data from Echobox, a social media management company, the decline in Facebook-generated clicks has been a recurring trend over the past year. However, the drop-off accelerated rapidly in May 2023, with traffic from Facebook plummeting by approximately 50% across Echobox's global client base of over 2,000 publishers.

Publishers, who heavily depend on Facebook for a significant portion of their traffic, have expressed frustration and concern over the sudden algorithm change. Robert Chappell, Executive Editor at Madison 365, a nonprofit newsroom, highlighted the impact, stating that Facebook constitutes about 25% of their overall traffic.

The lack of predictability and communication from the platform makes it challenging for publishers to plan for the future and adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

While the exact causes behind the algorithm change remain uncertain, experts speculate that Facebook's prioritization of video content and the deprioritization of news on the platform could be contributing factors.