2010 - Facebook was completely free to users.
2012 - Facebook is still free but you have to pay to get posts to reach all your friends.
2014 - Facebook is still free. All they ask for is your home, your bank account details and your first born as offering to mighty Lord Zuck.
Welcome to the expected news of the decade! Facebook has started with an option to promote your personal posts to friends, for a fee.
The reigning king of Social Media recently announced that users will be able to promote their posts and make it reachable to more friends, for a fee. Already their ‘so-called-algorithm’ makes sure that not all posts are seen by all my friends. I remember the time when Facebook was a platform to engage with your friends and have fun. Now each time I log onto my profile, the feed is full of either promoted posts of brand pages or random stuff. Wasn’t this the same website that had said its “algorithm” would show us news relevant to us? Ya right!
Earlier this year, Facebook had rolled out the option for Businesses to promote their posts and make it reachable to more people. That made a bit of sense even. But the aftermath was that many brands saw a decrease in engagement unless the posts were promoted. It was like Facebook declaring - “Pay us, else we won’t show your content to anyone! Buhahaha”
The same stuff is happening here. Facebook is trying every possible method to make money. Yes, I agree it is also a business. But its turning out to be a pure business and slowly losing out on its charm it was known for - A Social Networking Website. At present it behaves more like a Social Commerce website than a Social Networking one. And whats being sold? Guess.
On certain points, this move could be defended. Consider this - you are entering a contest and you want all your friends to know about it. Obviously in the normal way, you can’t reach all your friends over Facebook. In such a context this promoted posts for personal accounts might turn useful. But again, why not simply mail my friends instead of spending money? Well, in India, I doubt how many people check their mail as frequently as they check Facebook. Still, it’s an option.
Already Facebook is making its wallet heavy with the revenue from Business Pages and its Ads. Now they are on to utilize the prospects of its 1 Billion odd members. For Facebook, it’s just 1 Billion small businesses. The time is long gone they considered us as humans and not just some demographic - 22, Male, Kochi.
They are just behaving like a spoilt brat now. Paying to talk to my friends they tell me. Sure, of course! Next they would ask for my house since I wrote on their “walls” and sue me for “poking” people!
Mashable even conducted a poll on this. The results, as expected.
In their blog, Facebook has also informed that this feature will be available to people with fewer than 5000 friends and subscribers. Just another guideline similar to Pages having the feature to promote posts only after reaching 400 likes. The reason for all this, only they know. Must be some kind of Top-Secret-formula-cooked-in-the-kitchens-of-Lord-Zuck that wouldn’t be digestible to us “demographics”.
Seems its high time someone at Facebook checked their main page-
So, would you be keen on selling your soul to Facebook, next time they come with an update?