Long story short: the news is not as bad as I thought yesterday.
I am getting over 100 impressions per post I make on the Camels With Hammers Facebook page again the last two months—ever since I stopped using an app to automatically post links. Even the last two days, I got over 100 impressions per post. It’s still less than quarter of my total subscribers but not as bad as when I was getting as low as 2 or 4 impressions for some posts in the fall or only 30-40 throughout the winter.
Apparently it was the apps or automatic posting which was being penalized and not just an artificial suppression of feed representation meant to force page owners to buy access to their subscribers’ feeds (as I had angrily inferred yesterday when I discovered they were offering to give me access to 300 of my subscribers’ feeds if only I paid $5 each time I wanted that).
Facebook is still not a reliable way to be assured you’ll get every update from blogs you follow. In the case of Camels With Hammers you will miss (and have missed) links which I don’t remember to post, even if you are getting the site regularly in your feed. Also, as I already noted, less than a quarter of subscribers are getting impressions of each post.
And page runners should be aware their posts automatically added by apps probably don’t show up in many feeds at all (less than 10%, assuming my experience on my page is typical), unless they get a lot of likes and comments. Freethought Blogs’ own Facebook page, which has nearly 5,000 subscribers and aggregates links to everything on the whole site is automatically updated and I have heard from a friend it rarely shows up in her feed.
So, if you want to make sure you are reliably updated on the goings-on at your favorite blogs, use a feed reader, have a daily e-mail sent to your inbox, or (especially) visit the websites directly. Only use Facebook as a supplemental occasional alert and you should be fine.