A few months ago while sitting in on a presentation, the speaker, a professional in social media, explained that Facebook was, for all intents and purposes, dead. Now, I don’t do a perfect job at staying on top of all the internet news and information, so this came as quite a shock to me.
This person then went on to explain that the “followers” on business pages would no longer see the posts on those pages unless that business PAID for the visibility of the post. Again, I was shocked, especially given that I manage more than a dozen Facebook pages for businesses.
My first thought was perhaps I had misunderstood and that the person was really talking about Facebook Advertising, which is alive and kicking, reasonably priced and a great way to build your Facebook audience.
As I continued to listen, it became apparent: No, the message of the presentation really was to tell people that Facebook was on its way out, that it was going to start charging businesses for their posts and it was time to find a new social media outlet.
So, I did what any responsible entrepreneur would do, especially one who totes of being an “internet specialist,” and I Googled it. And, I Snopes-ed it. And, I Googled it some more.
Ken Colburn of datadoctors.com explained in an article titled “Is Facebook about to start charging business pages a fee?” published on ABC 15 Arizona, “By default, Facebook only shows you items in your news feed that are from friends that you are actively interacting with or posts that have gotten a lot of likes or comments by your friends (the definition of their ‘Top Stories’).”
Colburn continues, “These types of rumors aren’t anything new and have been circulating for years. They tend to pop up every time something significant changes within the network or there is discussion about new projects at Facebook.”
Colburn goes on to say, “Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, expect to see more stories about new fee-based offerings and expect to see more hoaxes claiming that what you get for free today will be a pay service tomorrow.”
I realize that Colburn’s article is a bit dated, but it seemed to address the claim of the presenter at the event. I administer over a dozen Facebook business pages and I have observed the “Insights” (Facebook traffic) over the years. What I haven’t seen is an overall decrease in the number of people seeing my posts. Sure, there are some posts that don’t get a lot of views, but those tend to be the less interesting.
All of this being said, don’t run for the hills or panic that your business is being hung out to dry because everyone’s favorite Social Media outlet has flat lined.
Facebook is NOT DEAD, friends!
Facebook is alive and viable and a great source of customer interaction! If you’re going to be concerned about your audience seeing posts, put your energy into posts that are engaging and interesting.