Data provided to Business Insider by the social-media analytics company Socialbakers shows just how badly photos perform compared with videos, links, and even simple text-only posts in terms of reach on Facebook.
What makes this data so remarkable is that it wasn’t so long ago that posting photos used to give brand page owners the best chance of their posts being seen by their fans (indeed, a Socialbakers study dated April 2014 declared “Photos Are Still King On Facebook”). Now the algorithm has changed, punishing photos, perhaps in response to page owners trying to game the system by constantly posting photos, or maybe because Facebook has been shifting its strategy ever more toward video in recent months.
The Socialbakers data, which covered 4,445 brand pages and more than 670,000 posts between October 2014 and February 2015, shows that video is now the most effective way to reach users in Facebook’s News Feed, driving more than twice as much reach as photo posts.
Photos had the lowest organic reach (the percentage of a page’s fans who see a post without the page owner’s needing to pay for advertising) over the period, with an average of just three out of every 100 (3.7%) page fans seeing a photo post.