Okay. I told myself that once #BookBlogWriMo was over, I would go back to posting weekly tutorials, best practice posts, and informational articles once a week for Bumblings Blog Tips. And even yesterday, that was still the plan.
But I feel like I need to get this out, and I feel like it counts as a blogging tip because I feel strongly that it’s blogging advice most people could use.
Stop Complaining About Facebook SO Much
I try to bite my tongue. When someone goes on a rant full of misguided information, I try to clarify without sounding like a bitch. But it’s gotten to the point where this post needed to be written, because too many people have the wrong idea.
I’m going to be breaking this rant up into multiple parts so I don’t get too rant-y at any given moment. But let’s get a few things straight up front:
- Facebook is a business that needs to make money to stay afloat.
- Facebook is not purposely trying to alienate small businesses and blogs.
- Facebook success takes work, which is not the same thing as time.
- Algorithm updates won’t hurt you if you’re actually doing Facebook right.
- The majority of Likes from giveaways are useless to you.
- If you hate it so much, you don’t have to use it.
Today, I’m going to talk about the first point.
Facebook is a Business
Because most social networks start out as a free service with no advertising, people tend to view them as a utility. As something they have a right to use as they’d like. You have a right to freedom of speech. You don’t have a right to Likes. (Tweet this)
So complain about ads on social media all you want. But realize that the alternative to these ads is a social network that costs money for you to use. That would be the other way to pay employees and cover overhead costs.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have ads in my News Feed (which can easily be ignored or scrolled past) than pay money to go on Facebook.
And especially from the standpoint of a Facebook page manager, we have the tendency to think of ourselves as Facebook’s customers. But anyone who is not advertising on Facebook is not a Facebook customer. They’re the product Facebook is selling. (Tweet this)
And from a business standpoint, Facebook is not even that profitable for a business of its size. Wall Street regularly scoffs and turns up its nose at it. The most recent earnings report stated $3.2 billion in revenue, which may seem like a lot (because it’s a lot).
But let’s break that down. That money needs to cover:
- The massive server use required to prevent the website going down. For a website & app that probably has millions of users on it at a time, this cost is probably astronomical.
- Keeping the rent paid and the lights on in their several offices. And think about the square footage in their Menlo Park headquarters alone, which takes up almost a whole city block.
- Paying employees so they keep showing up to work. Facebook has almost 8,000 employees, most of which are engineers. Engineers are highly paid. If Facebook wants good engineers to build a good network, they have to pay high salaries.
- Hundreds of other expenses.
And before you say something like, “Well what if Zuckerberg didn’t keep so much money for himself?” take a look at this. His salary is $1 and the rest of his income comes from stock options. He also donates most of it to charity. So that’s not the problem.
Facebook Needs to Do What it Takes (Tweet This)
A few years ago, Facebook was in trouble. Other social networks like Twitter and Tumblr were gaining on them. Users were spending less and less time on Facebook. Facebook’s livelihood as a business depends on users spending time on it. It doesn’t matter that literally everyone and their mother has a Facebook account. Not unless they’re logging in to those accounts.
When people aren’t logging in, they’re not seeing or clicking on ads. So Facebook isn’t making money. Like I said before, Facebook needs to make money. Just like every other business in the world.
That was when they started using algorithms to determine what to show people in the News Feed.
The algorithms are NOT designed to penalize pages who don’t advertised (Tweet this). They’re designed to keep users interested so they stay on Facebook.
When you hear about a certain type of Facebook post being penalized with a new algo update, Mark Zuckerberg is not sitting behind a computer, twiddling and laughing his fingers like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, whispering “Excellent. Now they’ll have to pay to boost posts.”
He has bigger things to worry about.
Here’s what goes into a Facebook algorithm update:
- An engagement report shows people at Facebook that, say, text posts with links in them, aren’t frequently clicked, liked, shared, or commented on. Even though they have high reach.
- Instead, the data shows that those types of posts are scrolled past and ignored.
- If these are a popular type of post, that means that users are less engaged with their News Feed, and are more likely to leave the site.
- Facebook people say, “We need to keep users on the site. It seems they don’t like text posts with links in them, so let’s update the algorithm to show less of them.”
- The algorithm update is rolled out, and engagement from Facebook users goes up.
- Facebook moves on to start identifying more ways to keep users happy.
See? The point of Facebook algorithm is to keep users happy and on Facebook. Nothing else. (Tweet this)
No conspiracy theories. No evil plots. Just keeping users (which doesn’t necessarily mean page managers) happy.
Writing this has gotten me pretty riled up, so I’m going to call it quits. That wraps up today’s portion of my rant. But there’s more coming, and I promise to try to keep it just as educational as it is rant-y.
Are you as bothered as me by people constantly complaining about Facebook? Share your woes.
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