Conclusion: If we don’t interact with our friends’ posts, Facebook will eventually stop showing their activity in our news feed. However, it will continue showing comparable number of sponsored ads. This makes me wonder if CTR would potentially be higher when targeting active users who barely interact with friends on Facebook (eg. fear of visibility, shy, stalkers, etc.)
I created a new Facebook private profile where I added 30+ close friends who are also associated with my old profile (the two profiles are not connected in any way).
In the following 2–3 months I posted several times a week: text posts (no links), some posts had photos, some had tags of friends, many had heavy engagement, and few had no engagement. I responded to almost all the comments. I also never interacted with friends’ posts in my news feed.
In the first few weeks my news feed was packed with friends’ activity. Over time their activity appeared to be less frequent. Last couple of weeks only handful of friends’ posts have appeared in my news feed and most were 1–2 days old (interesting to note that those posts were of friends I had tagged on several occasions). After investigating I discovered that lack of activity in my news feed was not due to general lack of activity: their timelines appeared packed with fresh posts but Facebook simply wouldn’t show them in my news feed.