LittleThings blames ‘catastrophic’ Facebook algorithm changes for abrupt collapse

'Feel-good' lifestyle site LittleThings has announced its closure, pinning the blame for its collapse squarely on the shoulders of a recent Facebook algorithm tweak, as first reported in DigiDay.

The publisher had risen to prominence on the social media juggernaut's coat tails after amassing a sizeable social media following of 12 million and attracting up to 50 million visitors each month. LittleThings said that a recent decision by the network to demote news and sponsored content in favour of content posted by friends and family brought its business model crashing down.

Speaking to Business Insider, chief executive Joe Spieser said Facebook's tweak wiped out 75% of organic traffic at a stroke, with a corresponding collapse in profit margins, rendering the company unviable.

In a memo explaining the situation, Spieser blamed a "full-on catastrophic update to Facebook’s algorithm".

He wrote: “Our organic traffic (the highest margin business), and influencer traffic were cut by over 75%. No previous algorithm update ever came close to this level of decimation. The position it put us in was beyond dire.

"The businesses looking to acquire LittleThings got spooked and promptly exited the sale process, leaving us in jeopardy of our bank debt covenants and ultimately bringing an expedited end to our incredible story.”