Just about everyone I know is complaining about Facebook. It simply is NOT the same Facebook we all knew and loved. It is NOT user-friendly any more. It is like living next to a bad neighbor that always, and in every way, finds fault and tries their best to make your life miserable or someone, who gets-off keying cars. The first real awareness of user disenchantment was in the midst of public scandals over privacy and content and then it exploded from there.
Facebook (and Twitter for that matter) took a major hit last week, losing $150 Billion or 20% of their value. It was a historical loss of any company. The Financial Media jumped on the band wagon of speculation, why this happened? Reasons were all over the board with such hype like, poor revenue growth and more emphasis and money spent on their companies like Instagram, Messenger, and about eight others under their corporate umbrella(s).
FB also claimed, they are spending billions on privacy and security and blab, blab, blab. But those of us that work for years (in my case, almost twenty years) in the Internet and Marketing business, started seeing other changes that the Financial Media is turning a back to.
So, let us get down and dirty to the hardcore and very real facts of why Facebook (and Twitter) stock and value continued to sink and deteriorate to a magnitude that is beyond anything we’ve seen.
FACE THE FACT: FACEBOOK HAS or IS RUNNING OUT OF HUMANS (USERS)
Facebook is the giant of Social Media, with over 2.5 billion users (one-third of the World’s population) and about 40% log in daily. Since day one in 2004 when it was launched in a college dorm at Harvard College, and a huge spike in late 2006 when they really started to market it to anyone over 13 years old; new accounts were springing up faster than a mid-west corn field, so it was easy to see years ago how FB was becoming the typical chain letter that eventually fizzles out.
Facebook was first started as a Social Media website and was ONLY limited to college students and then they got egoistic by opening it up to the general public. For a while FB was the #1 user-friendly Social Media platform with the under 30. Now that has changed, the under 30 is dropping out and business pages have become more popular along with the age group of over 40 and are not as active as those under 30. For everyone in between, it’s a coin flip. FB needs their daily dose of user logins and they are not getting it like they used to.
Now add, the FB fad is dying (just like MySpace did) with more and more users were jumping ship by going to other Social Media platforms like Qzone, Pinterest, Digg, and LinkedIn. There are over 60 social media website that are now being promoted just for 2018 and hundreds just in the unique categories, like, informational, chat rooms and forums for animals, model airplane flying and vegetable growing to name a fraction. Even if FB is trying to keep on top of new technology and thrills to keep the user’s interest, it’s not happening.
With said, users now are getting bored and delusional with FB’s everyday rhetoric, and moving on to subject matters they are most interested in.
NEVER JACK UP AD COSTS TO COMPENSATE LOST REVENUE
Facebook ads used to be reasonably priced, a bargain and with unlimited exposure. I remember doing ads for clients as little as .10 a click, and that was less than two years ago. Now, with the decline of daily users (less ad clicks) and more investment spending, FB did the unthinkable, they tried to compensate by charging more for their ads. To make matters worse, many are claiming FB started to manipulate bidding for their ads, so these skyrocketing costs edged out the little guy, who was the bulk of their revenue.
The old saying, “You make more money at the $2 window, than the $100 window” couldn’t be more accurate.
Those corporations with large budgets for ads were also given a lower ad cost (bulk buying), thus allowing them to get more ad space at a lower cost, again, forcing out the competitive mom and pop website/business who would be charged more for the same ad campaign that targeted the same users.
Ads now are those of large corporation (because they have more to spend) have also become less effective as more users are aware of controversial ads like those that are ClickBait and worse, online quizzes and cut and paste (posts) scams, which are design to harvest FB accounts and their friends emails and personal data.
Users are becoming more cautious, smarter, and web savvy.
A year ago, I did a ad campaign for a Networking Group, and I was placing ads where cost per click (CPC) was between .45-$1, for a small targeted area in San Diego. About three months later, and using the same keyphrase, the price/bidding jumped to an eye-popping 2-$8 per click. Since the group had a limited budget, their exposure was a lot less, and to make it even worse, the ad conversion rate was nowhere near the percentage of the first campaign … so they had no choice but to cancel the campaign.
Another example of how FB has forced out the small business. It used to be a $500/month ad campaign budget was significant enough to drawn new customers to your product or service, now it’s around $2000+/month. In other words, again, this has forced out the small business.
Facebook has outprice themselves.
#1 REASON: FACEBOOK HAS BECOME THE MARKETING POISON OF HATE
It’s not just political, but everything in general. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat before the senatorial hearings about the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ben Sasse of Nebraska pinned the giant of Social Media CEO shuddering and lopsided answer about targeting conservatism. All Mark could do was avoid and/or spin a direct and honest answer. Mark insisted FB AI (Artificial Intelligent) algorithms spot and delete when users violated their Terms and Conditions when it comes nudity, religion, bullying, harassment, hate speech and threats on accounts.
Mark also tried to explain their algorithms will prioritize “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over content from brands, it has become trickier than ever to ensure your organic content gets the screen time it deserves. Then Mark went on testifying he “WILL” make big changes to Facebook to prevent user’s personal data from being improperly used in the future.
Sounded sincere … didn’t he?
Unfortunately, his testimony also raised an ominous threat for conservatives and religious people seeking to exercise their free speech rights.
Again when questioned by Cruz and Sasse about the possibility of Facebook silencing free speech, Zuckerberg initially assured the senators that his goal is to allow users to have open [non-bias] political discourse. But when pressed by Sasse to explain the definition of “hate speech” — Zuckerberg (rehearsed/coached answer) stressed his company bans and will do more to ban in the future and then timidly responded, “I think this is a really hard question, and I think it’s one of the reasons why we struggle with it.”
Struggle with ones opposing views of exercising the rights of free speech? Bingo! Not a good answer, Mark!
But it did not stop. Zuckerberg’s promised to end “hate speech.” But will he?
It is no secret Mark’s longstanding support for left-wing doesn’t offer much comfort to those who support individual liberty and are regularly accused of being “racist,” “sexist” and “homophobic.”
The next day FB stocked dropped, and has continued to do so. Mark just offended millions of users with its allowing Fake News, political bias and censorship of those who disagree with Facebooks viewpoints. And this is not counting the trolls who love to stir the pot on controversy subject matters like gun control and abortion.
Obviously, stockholders did not think Mark’s testimony was sincere when the ominous threat for conservatives (and others) seeking to exercise their free speech rights is still being blocked/deleted when a few months later FB deleted posts on the Declaration of Independents and a gospel group’s music video and others like it. Sure the posts were restored and FB issued an apology, but only after a period of a week dealing with FB police, and besides, the damage had already been done.
Then we have Diamond and Silk, two pro-conservative, black political commentators with millions of social media followers. They were recently informed by Facebook that their videos, which regularly appear on popular conservative media outlets — are “unsafe to the community.” That’s a patently absurd position Facebook now says its “reconsidering” after receiving harsh media backlash. Diamond and Silk also accused FB of Shadow Banning*.
*Shadow Banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community in such a way that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned. Google, Twitter and Yahoo have also been accused of this on their search. Look at Shadow Banning as the wind, you can’t see it, but you can sure as hell see the destruction force.
But it does not stop just with FB, in fact, the hate has become a fetish with many. We have all seen those ‘particular’ friends who have nothing to do but post their ongoing hate.
There is nothing wrong with posting political stuff – and encourage engagement with point and counter point perspective that is logical, ethical and common scene debate and rebuttal. This helps build healthy communications skills.
Unfortunately, many, thrive on the marketing the poison of HATE regardless of what subject matter. And worse, they get off by hitting the like button when comments turned to rude and gross profanity, disrespect on a viewer reasonable POV, name calling, etc. It then becomes a contest of how many [hate] likes they can get. The more likes they get on a hate comment, the bigger their evil smile becomes that resembles the mind of a sociopath who has no remorse as he or she continues with their targeted rampage rage directed to those who disagree or question or claim they are offended.
In the end, it’s the innocent users who loses (about 95% of all FB users, or one bad apple in the barrel can spoil the rest), and who only want to see how their kids are doing, the funny, educational and bizarre cool videos and other forms of clean and humorous posts. Nothing is worse seeing your newsfeed littered with the same friends posts backed up by comments of hate, so they choose to visit FB less, or hide the hateful friend or just flat out block them. What I find funny, those people who get blocked, or unfriended, don’t even know it.
Facebook has become a venting zone for those who have become delusional in facts, common sense reasoning and just want to harass, regardless of any subject matter.
I recently had a good friend (who I grew up with), was forced to block two childhood friends when an innocent post, “How well the economy is doing,” turned into a slaughterhouse of hateful and harassment comments about the current administration by the two. He ended up deleting the post. The two were so blinded by their own hate, they even posted and started a comment rage of about why they are not seeing their “once was” friends posts?
Hello, go to your friends list and see if your friend is still on it. If not, guess what, you have been blocked for being disrespectful. Some people just don’t get it.
Then I had another who, denied and questioned the returned of the recent remains of servicemen from North Korea when he refused to watch and then denied/questioned the creditable news video of the return.
Friends, who refuse to partake in double-standard opinions, see this, and think, WTF is your problem? And move on.
Guess what, Facebook just lost another batch of users and revenue. Now times that by millions and it’s easy to see why Facebook (and Twitter) are having problems.
Jane O says
Zuckerberg looked pretty cool at first, but you could see he was definitely feeling the heat from Cruz’s interrogation. LOL!
Well played article. Right on. I too have blocked friends for their rude behavior and its just getting worse. I used to login several times a day and now it more like several times a week. Thanks for the real insight.