Today I learned that Facebook, which I use personally and where I have a few small pages for my photography, intends to have page owners pay to increase the number of already acquired fans (“likes”) that see your page’s posts (NB: this means on the news feed). This is for pages with 400+ fans.
Facebook up until now has been free for use in that sense. No one is forcing page owners to pay a dime; page use is still free. But is it worth keeping up a Facebook page if the default number of my “fans” who can actually view my content and get a page update on their feed is only 19?
Because that’s what’s happening, and I didn’t really understand that until now: Facebook automatically restricts the number of people that see your posts.
I get that it would be overwhelming if everyone saw every post by every page they like, which is FB’s reasoning, but that’s what people choose by clicking ‘like’. They want to stay up to date; if it’s too much, there’s this nifty feature called ‘unlike’, or ‘hide post’, or hey: Interest Lists. I find it patronizing that FB controls this for its users. They slowly implemented that a while ago. All page posts used to be visible to all fans. It used to be free.
Now if you want all your fans to see all your page posts, you need to pay up, but only if you’re a big page otherwise it won’t be worth it to Facebook.
Not that I would want to pay to promote my posts, but for argument’s sake: I can’t change the number of people I reach because my page is about 353 fans too small; getting the 28 OTHER existing fans to see my posts is simply not good enough for Facebook.
My page is small, not even 50 fans, and it doesn’t even reach half of the people I painstakingly got to even notice my page. My page will always reach only about 40% of my “fans” until I have 400 fans, which is when I can pay to increase the amount of people who can see my posts. (I expect the default percentage will decrease as you gain more fans.)
However, instead of allowing the other 28 people to see my posts, posts they elected to view because they liked my page, they get to see promoted posts by OTHER PAGES they never even ‘liked’ in the first place. Solution? You can prevent this page’s post from showing up in your feed, but you have to like that page first. A lot of bigger pages paid for advertising to gain more ‘likes’, only to have a fraction of their fans see their page now, their fans instead seeing sponsored posts by T-Mobile’s page.
So why bother with a network that has become so greedy, it requires their raison d’être to pay extra? After all, there is no Facebook without users. We are the reason Facebook has survived and grown. Facebook generates plenty of income simply because we use it. That goes for personal profiles and pages. But that is no longer enough.
And I’m not sure if I’m willing to support that greed by keeping up my Facebook pages, which are fractions of miniatures compared to George Takei’s 2M-sized page, but they are responsible for fractions of miniatures of teeny tiny flimsy bits of income for Facebook, that I no longer want it to have. On my business site I link to Facebook by linking to my pages. Should I charge FB money now?
Suddenly Google+ looks a bit more attractive… make that social… to me. (And that’s saying a lot. Because I’m no Google fan.) But who knows how long that will last…
Fans: you can help page owners out. FB only allows you to see a fraction of page posts in your news feed. Help your ‘liked’ pages connect with their existing fans without page owners having to pay for it: use interest lists and keep up to date in your own way.