Facebook admits to throttling pages for more money

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HoldinHolden

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Article: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/a-plea-to-facebook-stop-silencing-charities-and-political-activists/

I've had a Facebook fan page for years now, and progressively, while my numbers have grown, my "views" on each post has decreased; drastically over the past few weeks down to basically nothing (and I have 48,000 "fans"). I had suspected something like this had been happening for a long time (since FB went public and failed miserably) but kept hoping it was eventually going to work itself out to the users favor. Nope. Looks like it's only going to get worse.

I don't have much to add to a conversation about this because I find it so frustrating- I just wanted to share this article so that fellow page managers know that you are not going crazy, nor does your material suck; it's just shareholders trying to squeeze us for money that most of us don't have.

There is a petition included that you can sign. I'm not sure it will do much good, but we'll never know if we don't try, right?
 

robjvargas

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This is why you get your own domain, and post *there*, not on sites that would throttle innocent pages.

:D
 

HoldinHolden

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I have my own domain- but the biggest source of traffic has always been from Facebook. Many blog readers are lazy and don't remember to go back to a website unless they are reminded to, which many bloggers do on Facebook.
 

HoldinHolden

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Some may not agree, but there is/was value in having a Facebook page as a writer/blogger. It gives the writer instant access to their readers; a way to easily share news, new books or blogs, events, etc. without anyone having to click a link and search for it on a website. It gave the reader easy access to new material, and simple ways to share this material with their friends, gaining new readers for the writer. It's a great way to connect, and connecting sells books. And now, that has been throttled. Those of us who utilize Facebook to reach current and new readers are drastically affected by these changes.
To put it mildly: It sucks.
 

patrickwong

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Facebook succeeds where RSS Readers failed

(thanks for sharing the link BTW)

The best part about Facebook is how it can spoon feed information to the followers of a page with the click of a Like. Blogs needed something similar to a Staples "easy" button...if only the average user could've figured out how to use a RSS Reader....

Google Reader was my go-to source for information such as favorite blogs...and I was disappointed when Google pulled the plug on it. I've tried several others but still haven't found a replacement I like. (Feedly, flipboard, Zite, Digg). So I just don't find myself tracking blogs daily like I used to.

Now - my regular blog reading habits have been replaced by Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook - now I might have to start leaning away from FB
 
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teeta6404

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I've noticed the same thing! It is frustrating. I've just increased the amount I share on other sites. Twitter obviously, pinterest is helpful also!
 

Mac H.

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It's not a bad thing. Facebook *HAS* to work like that.

'Liking' a fanpage or 'Friending' someone doesn't mean "Put every single excreta of information from their feed onto my screen no matter if it's the kind of thing I normally ignore."

Imagine if it was truly like that. If I have 500 acquaintances/items that I'm a friend/fan of .. then everytime I connect to Facebook I'd be drowned with 500 messages!

It would be rapidly unusable.

If someone is 'fan' of your page and they click a link on your page - Facebook remembers that they've interacted with it and will make sure they include content from your page into their feed next time. If you have a post that many people have interacted with - Facebook will know and make it more likely that it appears in other people's feeds.

As people 'like' more and more fan-pages etc .. they'll get fewer posts from each page on their facebook - because otherwise the reader would drown in it all.

So, rather than a trying to force Facebook to push every single post from every single page that at user has 'liked' onto users - a better approach is to make sure that users interact with your post.

The bad thing is that simple text doesn't get tagged with being 'interacted' with - Facebook can't tell if the user is actually reading what is on the screen. But a video - that can be checked. A link - that can be checked.

So put content on your facebook that gets interaction. That's what will help.

Good luck,

Mac
 

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We have a similar discussion at Kindleboards as many authors have experienced this lately. I have about 8300+ followers, I've gathered them for years, but now I can reach about 7-15 per post. And if I pay for the visibility, Facebook shows each of the posts to bots instead of real people (You can see that from the zero activity.). In my case they simply screwed the launch of my book's IndieGogo Campaign as I can't reach any of my book's fans at all, while Facebook has swallowed my advertisement money. So I simply wrote to the F.B.I. as what Facebook is doing, other than it's unethical, it is a scam and fraud, especially as they're taking our advertisement money, while they're giving fake results in return.
 
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HoldinHolden

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There are new reports saying it has been throttled down to 2%. The big pages are making noise about it now, more petitions are being created, etc.

Mac, I see what you're trying to get at, and the point you're trying to make- but I disagree wholeheartedly. When I click the "like" button on a page, it means I WANT to see it in my newsfeed. I don't care what my friends are commenting on. Judging by the amount of complaints I have received about being missing from readers' newsfeeds, it's not just the people who run the pages that are upset.
Yes, there are people who just like pages to like them, I'm not one, and I don't know many others who go crazy liking pages either.

Facebook didn't do this because they had to; not this time. The streamlining of the newsfeed to show more "quality" content (which is up to Facebook and not the user, they don't care what does well) happened over a year ago. They did it this time because they went public, failed, and the shareholders want more money. Many reports have confirmed that fact, so I'm not just spouting off random information because I'm an angry page admin.

Sapphire- I see it as a kind of entrapment situation. I, and many others, had grown our pages for year/s, and everyone who liked our pages COULD see our posts (this of course didn't mean they would, as some people don't scroll all the way through their newsfeeds to 'catch up', but it would be IN their feeds for them to find)- and then suddenly Facebook snatched them away and said "Oh, you can have your fans back... if you pay." Like you said, though, it doesn't work. At all. I've run 4 ads now and they all failed miserably. And it isn't about having "good content"- not anymore.
 

SapphireGuardian

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Sapphire- I see it as a kind of entrapment situation. I, and many others, had grown our pages for year/s, and everyone who liked our pages COULD see our posts (this of course didn't mean they would, as some people don't scroll all the way through their newsfeeds to 'catch up', but it would be IN their feeds for them to find)- and then suddenly Facebook snatched them away and said "Oh, you can have your fans back... if you pay." Like you said, though, it doesn't work. At all. I've run 4 ads now and they all failed miserably. And it isn't about having "good content"- not anymore.

Same here. I released my newest book trailer, which is also a high quality video and my readers was interested in it as its connecting to the sequel they're waiting in the last two years. I usually know how much they interact with my videos. In the past for about an average 4000 views I got ~90-100 likes per video, few comments and shares. When I had standard update posts and picture posts, for about 500 views I got about 10-20 likes, some comments, etc, etc... Now for the latest video, for 7000+ claimed views, I got almost zero activity. And this means the ad was shown to bots and not real people. I'm doing this a long time ago and I recognize when something is definitely off. And now, the advertisement system is completely and deliberately hijacked. My readers joined so they may get updates about my series. I started the page back in the beginning of 2011 and I slowly built up my large fanbase. But now no one get any updates, because Facebook is simply hiding them. I started my IndieGogo campaign a week ago, I had a pre set tiny marketing budget as I wanted to reach all my followers, and Facebook has simply swallowed most of it, while I couldn't reach anyone.
 

patrickwong

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Is Facebook Organic Reach Dead?

Here's a related article I thought I'd share...

http://topdogsocialmedia.com/facebook-organic-reach-dead/


Interesting analogy....

I’m going to use an analogy to describe what Facebook is currently doing. Imagine you had an email service that could bring you a new email subscriber for $1 per subscriber. Once the subscriber is inside your database, they are yours to promote and market to until they decide to opt out (if that ever happens).

Now let’s imagine once you got your email subscriber list built up, the service provider decided to charge you to send them an email. Not just one email but every single email you ever send.
 

benbradley

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I don't have "that many" Facebook "friends," but I've noticed I don't get everything, and several I've gone back to look for someone's post that I later decided I wanted to comment on, and couldn't find it. YOu can hit refresh and a different set of posts come up.
 

jennontheisland

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Facebook is not a democracy. Petitions will do nothing. The only way facebook will stop doing unethical things, or otherwise crappy things, is if they see some kind of financial hit from it (because as a publicly traded company all that matters is shareholder returns). And the only way you can stop giving facebook money is to stop using it.
 

RedWombat

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Why did I read the comments on the article? *headdesk*

This is depressing stuff. I don't use Facebook, but I've been hearing some grumbling from author friends who do. If this is what's going on, it makes a lot more sense.

What I don't understand is WHY they'd do that--the thing Facebook runs on is people seeing the stuff from other people they want to follow, so if you stifle "organic" page views, Facebook is no longer good for the thing Facebook is good for. If they think they've gotten too big to be replaced, they seriously don't understand the internet.
 

alexaherself

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it's just shareholders trying to squeeze us for money that most of us don't have.

This is normal behavior for shareholders.

In many countries, it's even statutorily obliged behavior, in the sense that the people running the business have a specific legal duty to maximize profit.

hopefully something new will fill the gap in the market.

In the long run, people looking at social networks as a method of free marketing are going to end up disappointed.

Apologies for sounding dispiriting. I'm criticizing nobody: I'm literally "just saying". It's true and we all know it, really. :eek: :tongue
 

Anjasa

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I don't have "that many" Facebook "friends," but I've noticed I don't get everything, and several I've gone back to look for someone's post that I later decided I wanted to comment on, and couldn't find it. YOu can hit refresh and a different set of posts come up.


Yea, this is really bothering me. I see different posts on my phone that weren't there when I checked on my computer. I'm missing updates from friends, and I don't even know it, so I can't interact or correct it :|
 

Polenth

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In the long run, people looking at social networks as a method of free marketing are going to end up disappointed.

Apologies for sounding dispiriting. I'm criticizing nobody: I'm literally "just saying". It's true and we all know it, really. :eek: :tongue

Companies want to make money, but it doesn't mean what Facebook is doing is inevitable and what all social networks will end up doing. Most end up making money from advertising, which means keeping users on the site. You keep users on the site by making them happy, and you keep them happy by offering what they want.

That's why the majority of social networks show you all the messages you've asked to see. It's a simple way of keeping you on the site.

What Facebook is doing is trying to maximise short term profit at the expense of the company surviving in the long term. Users who are established might pay for an advert out of desperation. But when that advert fails, the users won't pay again and will be looking for a way out. It's the act of a company that knows it's losing the race.

For an author, the sensible thing is not to put everything into one network. Twitter is generally a better bet than Facebook at the moment. In five years time, that might change, so you have to be ready to move.
 

Buffysquirrel

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Facebook was never much in touch with what its users wanted to use it for, but the divergence between the two is getting greater and greater all the time. I was amazed at what the site was valued at--even I could see it wasn't worth anything like that much.

I don't want to give up using it, though. Every time I leave a site, I lose touch with people.
 

tcorsonk

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Yeah, I've noticed huge decreases in views on my Facebook posts as well. Back when my fan page had 5,000 fans, posts were often seen by 3,000 people on average, now my fan page has 16,000 fans and the posts are still seen by an average of 3,000 people... Some posts do much worse, with maybe only 500-1,000 people seeing them.

I've found Facebook groups to be a much better way to stay in touch with fans/readers. A facebook group with a few hundred people will often out-engage a fan page with a few thousand fans. So now, at the end of all my ebooks, I always add a link to a Facebook group where they can connect with me and other readers. It seems to be working a lot better.
 

SapphireGuardian

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Some posts do much worse, with maybe only 500-1,000 people seeing them.

You're lucky. My book's fanpage has 8000+ followers and only 7-15 sees each of the free posts. And if I boost it, Facebook shows it to bots or what. In the past one of the best trailers had about 100 likes for about 4000 views. Now, there is zero activity, even after 8000 or even 10k views. They're feeding their advertisers with BS data. So since December 31 I simply terminated my Facebook ad account.
 

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Interestingly enough, I've had some increased activity on the page I use to promote my sculptures. Whatever Facebook just did must help some people.
 

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