I've been seeing quite a bit of moaning about Facebook recently in regards to their "organic reach" situation and how annoyed people are and I don't mind admitting that I'm rather confused as to why people are moaning. It seems Facebook are running a trial in a couple of countries where your timeline will only be filled by posts from friends and sponsored content, not anything from pages you've liked and such. Apparently this has made people jolly cross because they've somehow managed to miss the steadily declining organic reach of pages for quite some time now.
Even so, I'm confused why people would complain. You see, it's not only your own bloody fault it's not Facebook's fault either. They're a business and their business isn't your niche page on Italian guitars from the 1960's, that means nothing to them. If anything it's getting in the way of what they really want and what you'll give them.
Yes, like a pusher they got you hooked on reaching 1000's of people for free - or at least without financial cost, time is another factor altogether - and like any decent pusher they waited until you were dependent before withdrawing some organic reach. "It's fine" you thought "It's not a problem, I can quit it whenever I want". You didn't need Facebook, it was just handy. But over time you found yourself pouring more effort into your page on someone else's platform only to find your reach was heading downwards at an alarming rate until, scratching the inside of your elbows and shuffling from foot to foot, you did something you swore you never would. You mainlined by promoting your post. The reach was back, the thrill returned, but even then you wanted more. You wanted to recapture that high of reaching 1000's. But now you'd have to pay.
Business is business. But even that's nothing to Facebook. Do you really think your promoted post is what's of value to them? That's just a sideline, a spot of beer money. They don't want you cluttering up timelines which
could be better filled with high paying corporate ads or, better yet, the thing they really lust after. Personal information.
Facebook is data mining. They hold masses of data on you which they can use to improve advertising sales. Proper advertising, big money advertising. And to get that delicious data they want you and your "friends" to divulge as much banal, day to day, information as possible. That 1960's Italian guitar page would generate precious little data they could leverage but you chatting about what you want, need, desire, hate, and will be buying...well that's just gold!
I'm also not sure video is panning out quite as Facebook hoped. Their tools, although very good, aren't ideal and neither is the platform so much of the media is regurgitated from elsewhere. That original programming and personal media perhaps not performing quite as they wanted. I could be wrong, but it's a feeling I can't shake given the organic reach on video not seeming quite as easily attainable as before.
Now, I accept what Facebook is and we still use it. I realise it is the ultimate symbol of net centralisation and it pains me how few people will bother with their own websites these days and even more at how few people will bother to go and hang out on them. This is the price we pay for taking those free drugs early on because we should have known there was always going to be a cost. But, sometimes it's too late.
Right now Facebook works for Trigger Warning and I find it a handy way to keep in touch with some people. I can't help wondering how much more fun it'd be if everyone had their own space but I guess Facebook is so much more convenient and easy and how could we live without the steady stream of important information it opens us up to. Like what Dave had for tea last night or how pissed Niamh was at the staff do.
I've often likened Twitter to a neurotic old woman running down the street screaming incoherently whilst rubbing her own stools into her face. I still feel like that, but I also feel it's a more dynamic and informative platform than Facebook. But I still use Facebook.
There's a moral to this story and I'm not going to spell it out. However, if you're reading this it means you're on our site. If you like it here why not sign up, post in our fledgling forums, offer some feedback and be a part of it. It's how it used to be online and I guarantee it's more fun that fumbling around on the big blue site being told what you should look at.
Anyway, keep selling your info for free and paying a price to do so. Mr Zuckerberg has mouths to feed.