Update: In an interesting development, the folks at Veritasium have put together an astonishing presentation about how Facebook are benefiting from fake likes, which fraudulently fulfill expectations of Facebook page owners paying for advertising. The Reddit forum comments section is currently alight with disdain for the apparent under handed dealings. One user had a similar experience to Veritasium.
“I attempted a test on this as well. I put $10 to advertise a video post linked from youtube. I figured I would have two different views on the traffic to the video. I received over 8,000 people that “saw” the post, over 250 “liked” the post, while only receiving 13 views. Clearly indicating promoted posts are just as futile as a promoted page.”
We’re dumbfounded too. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s the video.
Read on below for our original story…
As they shrink the audience of organic posts, page owners get begged and nagged every day with popups and emails to pay money to be heard by their own followers.
A recent post reached just 1.4% of our page’s audience. In the following 24hrs we received two invasive popups and an email effectively telling us to pay $30 to reach the remaining 99.6%. More and more we’re seeing this for personal posts too.
Facebook has dramatically changed since going public in 2012. EdgeRank, Facebook’s old algorithm that decided what posts landed on people’s walls, meant pages used to only reach-around 16% of their audience without paying extra.
Real estate agents and insurance companies turned to posting pictures of funny cats in desperation just to reach engagement thresholds (likes, comments and shares). Artists and non-profits retreated emotionally, leaving all but the most arbitrary content on their pages. Those that persevered sold their souls, hopelessly spamming their followers to no avail.
Today though, engagement pales in comparison to the ubiquitous paid post. In 2014, under Facebook’s new algorithm, organic posts land on less than 2% of their ‘captive’ audiences walls. This all but forces page owners to pay to reach their own fans. Slowly as the world cottons on to ad-blockers, Facebook is turning its own content creators into profit generating billboards. People don’t want to look at their ads, so they’ve turned the very content people are reading into a paid product.
Facebook wants you back… but one does not simply reach their fans with a post.
Maybe social media is no place for business of any sort. Perhaps we’d all be better off without the sea of self promotion that clutters up our walls. According to a mathematical study based on Myspace data, Facebook will loose 80% of its users in just a few years. Maybe the end is nigh, and perhaps it’s time to bring back the webpage as a creative medium in and unto itself. Perhaps we should give the poor graphic designers something more to work with than a cover photo choked in a sea of stark blue, white and ads. What do you think?
That’s enough of a rant. Here’s a sweet video of a cat that can skateboard…