Recent Stats Show That People Use Facebook Differently Now – Here’s How

Written by Laura Roeder

On May 24, 2016

Here’s something you don’t get to hear too often: good news about your Facebook reach!

(Seriously. Go ahead and bask in that feeling for a second.)

Because usually, getting Facebook to show your content to a wider swath of your audience feels like an uphill climb. Your reach is determined by a bunch of different factors – some of which are just plain out of your control!

But the average Facebook reach recently hit an 11-month high – and that has some encouraging implications for the future of your marketing.

A March 2016 study by Locowise revealed that organic reach recently got a massive bump, increasing by 60% since just a few months prior.

How high did it get, exactly? And what does it mean for your Facebook marketing plans moving forward?

“Good” is relative

In March, Facebook reach was the highest it had been since the previous May.

How high did it average? 20 percent? 30 percent? A million percents?

Turns out the number was more like…11.41 percent.


Spelling Bee Champion

Okay, 11.41% doesn’t sound that impressive.

It means that any given update is seen by what, 1.14 out of 10 people? That’s like, one person and someone else’s shoes!

But a little perspective goes a long way.

For example, in April 2015, the average organic reach for a post was only 4.11 percent. That’s a painfully low percentage of people seeing the stuff you’ve worked hard to write and share!

When you compare March’s reach of 11.41% to the recent past, then, it’s a lot more encouraging! That’s because in marketing, an isolated number isn’t nearly as valuable as the trends it might indicate.

A single statistic doesn’t matter - but trends do. Click to Tweet

Pay attention to the trends, and you can do more of the things that make an actual positive difference for the future of your marketing. It’s like having your own private psychic!


(Okay, maybe it’s not QUITE like that. But it’s close!)

Speaking of understanding trends, though, there’s more to learn from these stats – so let’s take a closer look.

Different types of updates get different types of reach

For regular readers of our blog, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise: the type of Facebook update you post has a major impact on its reach.

(Side note: you can click here to make sure you don’t miss those kinds of juicy truth nuggets in the future.)

Not all updates are given the same weight when Facebook’s deciding who gets to see what – and the type of update is a big influence.


According to Locowise’s study, for example, the average organic reach for a video in March was 12.81%, while the average organic reach for a plain, non-link status update was a significantly smaller 6.45 percent.

(This goes to show that Facebook was making good on its promise to give live broadcasts priority placement in the News Feed. See – paying attention to trends makes a difference!)

Facebook reach is never random. Experiment, pay attention to algorithm changes and new features, and don’t write anything off as chance or bad luck – on Facebook, there’s always a reason something happened the way it did!

While you’re keeping all that in mind, there’s one more important thing these recent stats are telling you:

Jumping ship doesn’t get you far

It’s pretty natural to feel frustrated when Facebook reach is down, but that doesn’t mean you should quit making an effort!

These recent stats show that downswings aren’t necessarily permanent, and that you can expect positive change even after a prolonged period of disappointing stats – and this isn’t the only study to back that up.

Just look at the “problem” of young people abandoning Facebook.

Analysts have been clutching their pearls for years over the idea that younger audiences are bailing on Facebook in favor of the greener pastures of newer networks like Snapchat.

As early as 2013, CNET was reporting that teens were getting sick of Facebook – despite having what they described as “no hard-and-fast data” quantifying the “teen problem.”


If you bought it at the time, that would be a pretty scary assertion!

Three years later, how’s that “teen problem” look?

In the United States, 93% of people aged 13-29 are using Facebook each month – that’s more people in that age group than watch traditional television.

(Aren’t you glad you didn’t believe all that anecdotal evidence way back when?)

People aren’t leaving Facebook the way they were once predicted to, but statistics do show that they’re using Facebook differently.

The number of status updates posted by individual users is dropping, even though Facebook’s user base has grown, and people still spend a significant amount of time there. (Users aged 18-35 actually spend 2.5x as much time on Facebook as they do on the second most time-consuming network, Snapchat.)

And you’re going to love the reason why.

Facebook has been saying for a long time that it wants to be a place where people go to find and read quality content – and it looks like it’s getting its wish.

While people are using other social networks for the types of personal messaging they once relied on Facebook for, they’re still visiting Facebook as a tool for discovering new information – like the content you’re sharing.

More than 80% of Facebook users in the US are connected to a business. If your business is creating and sharing stellar content on Facebook, you’re giving people exactly what they’re looking for when they log on!

More than 80% of Facebook users in the US are connected to a business. Click to Tweet

The point of all this is that while it’s changed over the years, statistically, Facebook is worth your time and energy – so take it with a grain of salt when you hear people talk about jumping ship.

Facebook isn’t done changing

While all of these stats show that Facebook belongs in your marketing strategy as much as ever, they ALSO show that this social network is always changing.

Using Facebook effectively is a never-ending challenge of adapting to new circumstances – but if you put the time and effort into doing it, it can pay off in big ways!

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