Censorship For Profit — A Look At Facebook’s Greedy Pay To Play Model!
If there’s one social platform who’s greed knows no bounds, it would truly be Facebook. I have to admit, I couldn’t help but shrug after seeing a recent tweet from the head of Facebook’s Newsfeed Adam Mosseri, in which he stated quote, “Want to be clear, no plans to launch this test globally or to ask publishers to pay for all distribution.” That statement followed recent updates to Facebook’s launch of their Explore Feed in several locales, including Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia, in which Facebook stripped all page posts out of users Newsfeeds entirely. Adam insists its just a test, but those who operate in the media know better. The whole launch of this new Explore Feed is merely another ploy to siphon more dollars from hard working publishers.
As you’re about to see, there’s truly no end to Facebook’s incredible greed. But, despite the headaches it causes the creative minds of the web, there is life after Facebook, and there are alternatives.
For starters, here’s the actual Tweet Adam made. One in which I had no problem calling him out on and reminding him how much of a liar he is:
The words of importance in his statement are “Pay For All”, meaning he acknowledges they charge brand pages in a pay to play model. He can twist his words to confuse the public all he wants, but Facebook is still a crook.
Facebook Censors Media and Journalists For Profit:
Without a doubt, its no secret that Facebook has long been censoring the media, journalists, and other creative minds of its social platform for profit, and its something they’ve been doing for years.
In another recent statement from a Facebook spokesperson in response to the recent backlash from publishers in the affected territories noted above, Facebook stated, “With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful. People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family.”
Every time Facebook stamps out more organic reach from pages across their social platform, the media is almost always met with nonsense statements and junk excuses as those given to Mashable. Sorry to tell Facebook, but the media players aren’t that stupid, we know better.
Facebook thinks they’re clever by making assumptions about their users wants and needs, who’ve more often than not stated they too are tired of the social platform trying to dictate who and what they interact with. Facebook has made similar statements regarding users in the past, often claiming that the platform has always been a place where people connected with friends and family. To some degree that may be true, but the average Facebook user isn’t exactly creative minded either. Most social users don’t produce content, but rather they’re the ones who consume it.
Paint it however you like, Facebook is always trying to manipulate who and what their users interact with, and its always with profits in mind. Following a person or page that really interests you is irrelevant to a tech giant who’s more concerned with how much they can earn by charging the creative minds of their platform a handsome fee in order for the content they create to find its way to users.
While Adam claims Facebook has no intent to test their recent Newsfeed changes globally, all it took was a single glance at my own Newsfeed to realize there wasn’t a single post from a page I follow, not even the pages I own and operate. Just today, a moderator of one of my brands made a new post an hour before I checked my Newsfeed, but the post never showed up. I honestly didn’t even know he posted at all until I scrolled down to launch the pages feed, where the post finally appeared for the first time.
The fact is, Adam didn’t have to launch any tests, as he very well knew his entire intent and that of his employer is to make more money by censoring the media, journalists, and creative minds that traverse Facebook.
The Media and Journalists Grow Tired of Facebook’s Crap:
While Facebook often thinks they’re in control, the fact is, the media and journalists they employ, along with all those independent writers out there, all have other options to reach audiences across the web. My only reasoning as to why they stay clung to Facebook in light of years of rampant censorship and the pay to play models that followed, is that many of those media outlets and journalists spent years building an audience on Facebook. For them to quit now would mean throwing away years of their hard work, along with the enormous audiences they worked so hard to build, yet can no longer reach.
After years of having been thrown under the bus by this social platform, its obvious that those media players and journalists are getting sick and tired of the games Facebook plays. Often, people think its best to just wait it out and see if things improve, and that somehow Facebook will eventually have a change of heart in how their algorithms treat pages. Too bad there’s no heart in greed!
Without a doubt, modern day media outlets have not only grown weary of a social platform that picks winners and losers, but have totally lost any faith they once had in Facebook. For those who placed their bets on Facebook by putting all their eggs in a single basket, many have long lost the audiences they worked so incredibly hard to build.
At some point the wider media is just going to have to accept the fact that Facebook is all about money, putting profits over people, and that the platform is nothing more than a lost cause for anyone with a creative mind.
Facebook’s Unending Greed:
Over the last few months, those who operate pages on Facebook may have noticed the platform has launched an all out campaign of begging its users for money, as if they didn’t already have enough.
Here’s one of the many notifications I’ve received touting $10 off if I boost a certain post right now:
I get these notifications almost constantly now, and that’s on top of the usual begging I already see as a page admin. One has to wonder, why on earth is this platform that makes more money than they could ever spend in 10 lifetimes begging the working poor for money?
Let’s face it, journalists are the new starving artists, the majority of them are flat broke, and here we have a tech giant who makes money hand over fist begging for the last 2 cents in their wallets.
Finding Another Way:
While I feel bad for all those who invested years and thousands of hours into building an audience on Facebook only to be told, “Boost this post to reach more of the people you care about” crap, the fact is there are other social platforms out there, and they don’t charge their users to reach their own followers either.
Other options like Google+, Twitter, and YouTube are much safer bets for the creative minds of the web today. For example, not long after the birth of my own media organization, I asked our co-founder why we weren’t investing any time into building pages or groups on Facebook, his answer was simple, “Facebook isn’t worth it!”
After 5 years of growing our media across the social spaces of the web, the results of our efforts are solid proof that Facebook was indeed nothing more than a waste of time.
For instance, in the case of our gaming brand Gamers Bay, we created brand pages on both Google+ and Facebook around the same time. 5 Years later the brand’s Google+ page has close to 12,000 followers, and its interconnected G+ community just hit 15,000 members the other day!
As for the same brand’s Facebook page? After 5 years it has just a little over 350 followers :(
Not that we couldn’t have grown the brand and gotten more followers for it, but it would’ve required tens of thousands of dollars in Facebook ads and boosted posts in order to pull it off. Yet, we built a massive audience for Gamers Bay on Google+, and never paid a red cent for marketing the brand there.
Other brands and subsequent communities we built on Google+ make Gamers Bay look like Hello Kitty. Our largest community is going to likely hit the 1/4 million mark with the next 2 months, and even this very brand I’m writing for now, Strategic Social Networking, has over 158,000 community members at the time of this writing.
What really makes Google+ a better bet for media, brands, and journalists is the simple fact that Google not only doesn’t charge you to reach your followers, they often freely promote the brands, people, and content that exhibit a strong influence on the platform’s audiences.
Twitter and Youtube are also much safer bets than Facebook. No doubt, people have built humongous audiences on both of these platforms, and neither will ever charge you a red cent to do it. Unlike with Facebook where promotions are practically a mandate, paid promotions on Twitter and YouTube are just an added option.
There you have it, I’m living proof you don’t need Facebook at all to build an audience on social web.
While Facebook stands by their garbage that they’re somehow a family oriented social platform, the actions of their users also prove otherwise.
The never ending greed we’ve seen from Facebook in terms of censoring content and people for profit is everything that’s wrong with the world today. I haven’t a doubt in mind Facebook would wrestle a homeless bum to the ground to snag the last dime out of their pocket if they had the chance to do so.
The whole reason Facebook manages to persist despite its incredibly selfish one-sided policies, is for the simple fact that much of the world uses Facebook as their main social platform, and many media outlets want to be there to connect with those audiences.
But if Facebook continues to play favorites with certain media sources while throwing others in the trash unless they pay, then over time that support they’ve enjoyed for so long will more than likely start to dwindle.
As for all those media outlets and journalists who’re still crying over the mistreatment Facebook continually serves them, maybe its time to simply move on to greener pastures. Besides, there are better alternatives, such as those I noted above.
Written and published by Daniel Imbellino — Co-Founder of Strategic Social Networking and pctechauthority.com. Many thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Strategic Social Networking Community on Google+ to connect with tens of thousands of IT professionals and learn effective strategies to grow your social presence online. You’re also welcome to follow Strategic’s brand page on G+ for the latest social media and IT industry news. You’re also welcome to connect with me on Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DanielImbellino