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Where have all the brands gone on Facebook?

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In case you don't keep up with the constant evolution that happens on Facebook, the network rolled out changes that influence users' News Feed. In December 2013, Facebook admitted the network had made changes to its algorithm impacting how much Page content is viewed, as reported by AdAge. Instead, daily users are seeing more of their friends updates as opposed to the Pages they "like." In addition to seeing more friend's activity, users are likely seeing more news content from publisher partners such as The Huffington Post, Slate and Buzzfeed as a result of additional changes made earlier in 2013 increasing the visibility for publishers.

Over the past week, I've been purposefully scrolling through my own Facebook News Feed to see if any content is visible from the Brand Pages I follow. Day after day in the past six to seven days, I see posts from my friends and from the different publishers I follow such as iO9, The Daily Beast, Fast Company, NBC Chicago, Brain Pickings and, yes, Examiner.com. On that rare occasion, I come across a brand post, but those are all marked "sponsored," meaning they are paying Facebook to get noticed.

News flash to brands: post all the content you want all day long, you aren't being seen, at least not by me, and I follow numerous brands.

Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, the network is under pressure to figure out how to bring in more revenue and the only way to do this is by forcing companies to pay for publicity - aka advertising.

As a regular user, I appreciate Facebook making my friends more visible than the brands I've elected to follow, but I follow those brands for a reason. I'm interested in what they have to say. I'm interested in their new products. I'm interested in the deals, especially from retailers, take ease the pain on my wallet. But now I have to work to find those posts from the brands I like thanks to Facebook. For example, I wouldn't mind seeing ongoing updates from the following brands I follow: Marvel, Coca-Cola, Nissan, M&Ms, Panera Bread and Jackson Guitars.

What do my fellow Chicagoans think about these changes? Do you like how Facebook has changed the News Feed? Would you like to see more posts from the brands your care about? Are you content with only seeing updates from publishers and friends only?

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