Is The Social Media Gravy Train Over… Part 2

In my last blog I explored why fake news has been so damaging to the trust of social media, and that it is now affecting even the trusted news sources, as only 37% of social media users, trust the data, even if they know the source personally.

You can imagine the impact that has on digitally aware Churches!

But there is another reason why I believe Social Media as we know it today is going to collapse. It is simple: Greed.

Recently, Facebook have been playing with how things appear in your feed. They are trying to ‘improve their service to you’ but the reality is they are looking to get you to pay more.

Facebook have a strategy to show you something great, get you hooked on the service for free, and then hit you with costs when you are addicted.

Sounds like another business model with less salubrious morals, right?!

Just like drug dealers, they hook you on the product, and then you simply can’t live without it.

Take the recent trial in Cambodia. Vloggers who were quitting their jobs due to tremendous success with their videos in Facebook, woke up one morning in October to see their videos’ organic reach reduced by up to 99%.

Why? Facebook had changed their algorithm to prefer and distribute only paid video content.

Of course, this is fair enough. It is their platform, they can use it how they want, and they never claimed to be a charity. My capitalist side appaudes them.

However, many churches that have been used to getting the Gospel out organically are going to find themselves in a brave new world where they have to pay for the privilege.

For people as old as I am, this won’t be too much of a shock, as we will remember how much it cost to put an ad in the paper. However, for many, the thought of shelling out thousands when they are used to paying next to nothing is going to come as a shock.

The good news, of course, is that there will be another innovation, and as hard as it is for us to get our heads around it now, social media will end up taking 2nd place to some cheeky upstart with another disruptive method of communication.

The trick, of course, is for the church to spot it before it is too late (again).


I would love to hear your insights, so please do get in touch by emailing hello@digitalchurch.com.


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