Facebook is Dying, like 2017
Facebook: the Anti-Social Network, wrote the Financial Times two days ago.
In a recent interview with Prince Harry, Barack Obama also warned from social media use today and its dangers.
As a hard-core Facebook user, I didn’t really need to read this to feel that Facebook is doing a series of mistakes that, in my opinion, are not looking good for its own survival either. So what is the blogger point of view?
How Facebook Makes Money On You
Facebook makes money on you staying on it, by sending you advertising. Every time you refresh a page, more or less, you’ll see a new ad. Facebook gets paid only when the ad is actually shown to you, therefore keeping you online as long as possible is in its own interest. If you post a picture, it is likely that it will be shown to all your friends, so you’ll be motivated by your friends’ reactions to remain online longer (mind you – this is like the Coca-cola recipe: nobody knows for sure, but we all have an idea of what’s in). All this, if you are a private person. But if you are a private person, you won’t be able to have more than 5’ooo friends. And if you want to use Facebook to advertise (like I do) and need a bigger audience, then you’ll need to create a fan page or a business page (like I have). And here things change dramatically.
One Needs to Pay Pay Pay
When you have a business page and post a picture, it will be shown to 5% of your followers if you are lucky (the so-called organic reach, the non-paid reach). Why? Because if you want to show it to more people, you’ll have to pay. I normally pay 3 CHF per post, which means that 5-10k people will see it (my Facebook page has currently 97k followers. But they can’t really follow me, considering Facebook is not showing them my posts!). I can’t afford to show my photos to all my followers, so I do it this way. And why do I pay? Because if I don’t, I will get only 20-30 likes, and my page will look fake (I have never bought a single follower. I have paid for showing posts). To be honest, I am getting fed up of paying.
Being on Facebook as a business, at the end, rewards those who have more money. There is no fun or much creativity involved anymore – you get views depending on how much you pay. I used to post 4 times a day and had to reduce to once a day, just because doing more would cost me too much. Remember: in the past one didn’t need to pay.
Furthermore, being on Facebook as a private person means you get studied (every single like you place, and everything you do online is kept as data) to send you tailor-made ads to suit your interests. Finally, you’ll be targeted to be influenced by the famous fake news (I can’t prove this, but I do believe it).
Personally I am extremely critical of the political and commercial use that is made of all this – the recent Russiagate is a spectacular example of the malicious social media use that can be done through social media in general.
Luckily, young people tend to stay away from Facebook, which right now seems to me the “worst” of social media.
Millennials and Generation X still prefer Instagram and Snapchat, but I don’t know if these platforms also will stay authentic: Instagram, for example (being practically the same as Facebook), has started to ask for money too. But right now it seems to me that whatever one posts is shown at least a bit more than on Facebook (in my experience, it still gets more interaction).
Cheers to a Wonderful 2018
I remain optimistic, and think that social media has also positive aspects. Even though one needs to be aware of the dopamine-releasing effects of likes and take them with a grain of salt, following people I like or being followed is a big pleasure for me.
I keep on using what I have and try to make the best of it. Being open to see what happens seems the only possible strategy to me; hopefully with a smile and a bit of irony.
Take your work seriously, but never yourself, Margot Fonteyn said once. Hopefully Mark Zuckerberg will do that too.