Wednesday 26 November 2014

Facebook fails on costly posts

Niall Byrne

Published 16/11/2012 | 18:00

When Facebook released a promotional video in October that, among other things compared their service to a chair, there was much derisory howling and lots of parody ads. Yet, perhaps we shouldn't be laughing so hard. Facebook seems to think it's as important as the basic functional thing you're sitting on.

To that end, Facebook's business model is to let you in, get you hooked and then slowly start to implement features that will make them money to justify their public offering.

Their recent Promoted Posts feature is indicative of that. It offered all users the ability to promote their posts or pages for a small fee to the people inside or outside their network. By doing so, they could ensure everyone that liked their page or was a friend would see that status update.

Facebook updates don't get seen by everyone, they never really have. Facebook's Edgerank algorithm supposedly deals with the problem of giving you news from your friends, not noise. Facebook say that by default only 15pc of users will see a status. But unrest is growing that Facebook have been reducing the reach of pages for some time.

The general consensus is that it's a squeeze and it hurts people who don't have huge revenues to play with: bloggers, internet personalities, writers, musicians and artists. DangerousMinds.net calculated that to reach 100pc of their 50k page audience, they'd have to pay $672,000 per year.

As The Rubberbandits tweeted last week: "270,000 Facebook fans and unless we pay a grand each time we post, only 10pc can see it. Bad form Facebook. Crushing the independent artist."

While there's some dispute about how calculated this reach reduction is and whether it's always been in place, the fact remains that if a large proportion of people who are using Facebook believe it is, then that's adding to the number of disgruntled users. It's a reminder that Zuckerberg and co are in charge at Facebook, so you, your friends, your family and businesses are playing by their rules.

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