So, we here at Three Yards are Facebook fans. Zach, for example,has been using it since it was collegians-only and has seen every privacy change, user interface “upgrade” and even the Almighty shift to Timeline, which raised the hackles of some of the social network’s 500 million users.
That being said, we’ve usually defended Facebook’s right to basically do whatever the hell they wanted. Until now.
Facebook is now implementing a program where pages (like ours) can pay to have their posts show up in more of their users news feeds, for longer periods of time. Which makes sense if you’re a bakery or something, and you’re promoting some kind of limited-time sale, and you can spend as little as $5. Read the whole article here, courtesy of Mashable.
So, we did a little research. Surely, we thought, what point would there be to pay for something that happens organically for free, right? It’s like paying to breathe. Come to find out, though, posts by a page ALMOST NEVER reach all of that page’s fans! WHO KNEW?!
Basically, of our roughly 300 “likes” on our page, any given post like a link or photo only reaches about 40 people. Which sucks. So, Facebook decided to offer this “service” to bump up the number of people who see posts in their feed. We learned that a post with no “likes” or comments on it basically sits, like floating poo, in a news feed for a little while then vanishes under all the other bullshit people have in their feeds, like pictures of doughnuts and other people’s babies doing annoyingly silly things, basically accomplishing nothing. While this may not be a problem for models, celebrities, and anyone else who has tens of thousands of followers who “like” every post and share with their friends, for Three Yards it presents a pretty solid kick in the dick.
We, for one, believe this new policy is akin to not allowing farmers to have the milk their cows produce naturally, then charging them to drink it. But only if they want to. It’s entirely up to them, so no harm, right? Except that the SAME algorithm Facebook uses to determine “Top Posts” (which nobody outside of Facebook completely understands), applies to personal updates as well. So, we believe it’s only a matter of time before Facebook “offers” to promote your posts about your baby doing silly things nobody cares about, so baby’s grandparents have a “higher chance” of seeing the post. Yes,basically what we’re saying is not everything you post on Facebook, whether it’s a page or your own personal profile, doesn’t actually even appear on all of your friends’ news feeds. You know what this is called? Pay to play.
Some of this problem could be alleviated with more people “liking” and commenting on our posts through the Facebook page, because that increases the number of viewers and therefore decreases the need to have to pay for exposure. We won’t beg for such things, naturally, but just putting the information out there for our readers’ information. Sharing is, indeed, caring.