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Jan 01

Run for your Lives – Facebook is Sinking

FBlogoLately I have been seeing articles online as well as in the mainstream media that have been suggesting some serious troubles ahead for Facebook. The big problem seems to be that young people are not using Facebook as their primary place for social media.  Instead, they are maintaining a Facebook profile to keep in touch with their families but then turn to other services such as Twitter and Snapchat for most of their communication.  Another problem is that current Facebook users are getting weary of all the ads.  Just as we are trying not to be as annoyed with embedded ads, they are talking about bringing in video ads.  Facebook must surely be doomed, or is it?

Facebook has a history of making unpopular changes to their user’s experience and despite the grumbling, they have still experienced growth in the market.  In fact, they have thrived despite demonstrating time and again that they are willing to move people out of their comfort zones while they find ways to ensure the bottom line remains profitable.  It is a model that has worked well for Facebook and despite all the social networks looking to make gains on them, they have not had to worry.

googleplus2Google+ is now currently the number 2 kid on the block and has been making steady gains in the market and will continue to do so.  It is a solid social media platform that is much less bulky than Facebook’s.  It also lacks the severe ad bloat that Facebook suffers from.  It is a cleaner experience and still has a lot of potential to grow into a much better user experience than Facebook is.  However, Facebook has resiliency and this resiliency will keep in in first place for years to come.

The biggest threat to Facebook is the young people and I fully understand how you may not want to be posting about doing something your parents wouldn’t approve of.  Sure you can make custom groups, but a little accident and you post about climbing out the window after curfew on your public feed.  Teenagers need their own space to fully vent and just be themselves.  Does that mean once they get older they will return to Facebook or will Google+ attract them?  I suspect both will benefit to some degree.

The bottom line in regards to Facebook is that it is not going anywhere.  The ship is not sinking and if it were, they have the resources to right the ship. Remember, Facebook is resilient and despite the unpopular changes in the past, we are all still there.  Facebook will continue to change and evolve and yes we will even get used to these darn video ads after a while.

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  1. Darren @ Ideas For Biz

    I always said “a camel is a horse designed by committee” which was true of MySpace. All social platforms have a similar life cycle where they are eventually monetized aggressively and to their own demise.

    Yes, I use Facebook, and I know the good times will not last forever, but acquiring new “Likes” has raised awareness of whatever it is I’m promoting and allowed me to at least promote my mailing list. That is what we should all be doing – promoting our mailing lists on Facebook and “Boosting” those posts. It is direct mail and a way to start fighting back against FB’s EdgeRank algorithm.

  2. Talking Finger

    I love Facebook. I have used it since 2007 personally, and have built a social media agency around it (at first years ago…when it was the main player…now of course it is just one of dozens of social networks that are utilized for business).

    Facebook is killing themselves with businesses of small and medium size: the very businesses they should have embraced for the long haul. Shrinking organic Reach with pay-per ads and Boosted Posts becoming the only means to survive for most.

    As an admin of over 140 Pages, and a top social agency in Connecticut, we talk to a LOT of businesses using social media. They are continually becoming upset with Facebook and moving away to other social networks.

    When they see organic Reach, something they have spent in some cases hundreds to many thousands of hours to create, and ad dollars in various increments wasted for “more more more” with diminishing returns…they are getting annoyed. Posts now that used to Reach 1000’s are barely making three digits. Even with paying for them, even with spectacular well thought out content that has been successful for them…they are losing their audience…rather the audience is being stripped away…little by little.

    Everyone is fine with paying a little here and there. It is understandable. But to take fans AWAY by forcing a business to pay to re-engage them after years of work is a slap in the face.

    Facebook better smarten up. They lost the youth, they will start losing businesses in droves, and soon their audience will be people not willing to pay ANYTHING to stay connected.

    What do you think?

    1. camountain

      Facebook has a bad habit of taking their position in the market for granted. Once they start losing the businesses, they will have no choice but to smarten up and listen to the needs of businesses. Will it be too late at that point? It really depends on what they are willing to do to stop the bleeding and to entice those who left to return.

      1. Darren @ Ideas For Biz

        FB should not take their market position for granted, agreed. That said, they DO have a critical mass of users and as a small business I certainly would not abandon the network because of it. Reach has diminished greatly however a good ad campaign to ping new users and let them know about your business (and email list) is the antidote and part of the solution. Why cry over spilt milk?

        We’re just going to have to change strategy and accept the reality. It is also a lesson to not rely on these hot platforms that inevitably become luke-warm after while. All good things eventually become part of the mainstream and lose their edge. Pinterest and Twitter are now monetized and they will have an algorithm that can be artificially tweaked. Democracy and fair “Reach” goes out of the window once there’s a reason to play with temperature dial.

        1. Talking Finger

          @Darren,
          While that sounds lovely, I admin over 140 Facebook Pages for clients and work closely with businesses from enterprise level down to the local deli.
          The problem is the way Facebook has basically punished small business by taking an audience that they have built for in some cases years, and then forcing that same small business to now pay to Reach them. Twitter and Pinterest have not done this anywhere near the degree Facebook has, nor will they.
          On Facebook, clients (and others who use this space that I know through colleagues etc) have spent countless hours, money and resources to build this audience and engage, and the vast majority HAVE spent money with Facebook in the form of ads etc over time.
          While I am fine with Facebook hiding some content from fans and asking that you spend a few $’s once in a while to Boost a post, this is not the case.
          Reach has gone down in many cases from posts that would have usually been seen by 3000 people down to 150.
          That’s just not a fair ratio.
          Ive been in ad/marketing for over 20 years, I fully understand the “pay to play” model of ad/marketing. But never in my life have I seen such a forced “pay to play” model as Facebook has done. It’s borderline dirty.
          ymmv

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