Usually I am very excited about updates and changes to my beloved social media sites. I thought the new Twitter header images were very novel and the new Facebook geo-targeting of posts was awesome. However, there are some recent changes that Facebook has made that makes me cry in my like button shaped pillow at night. Here are 3 things that have changed that make me scream, “what the heck, Facebook!?”.
1. Personal Promoted Posts
On October3rd, Facebook announced that users can pay $7 to make their posts more visible in their friend’s News Feeds. Yep, that’s right. They want you to pay to ensure that the people you have connected with see your posts. In my personal, humble opinion, this is not a very Zen social media practice. While this is an option that some people might want to use, it rubs me the wrong way that Facebook wants to begin to charge non-business users for certain features. I realize this is an attempt at increasing revenue, but Facebook should go after businesses, not the casual user trying to share their lives with their friends. The whole mantra of open communication and sharing now has a price tag on it. Pretty soon, if you want your political opinions to be seen you might have to fork over some cash. No bueno, Facebook, no bueno.
2. Tweaking the Edgerank Algorithm
Facebook is always trying to optimize the news feed for users so that they have the best experience possible, however when they tweak the algorithm marketers freak out. If you are a social media marketer, you might have noticed that your Reach has decreased. You are not alone! There have been widespread reports of pages experiencing decreases as well. Be sure to take a look at your Facebook Insights to see if you were impacted. EdgeRank Checker did an in depth study of 3,000 Facebook Pages that posted content around the time that the algorithm changes were made (9/20) and found that overall Organic Reach saw a decrease of 25%, Viral Reach saw a decrease of 45% and Engagement decreased 17%. Holy moly! This change seems to have good news and bad news. The bad news is that more than likely your numbers will begin to drop. The good news is that marketers will have to become more creative with their content and really work for that coveted fan engagement.
3. Facebook is Reading Your Private Messages
Yep! It’s true. Facebook recently confirmed that they are scanning your private messages for links in order to increase like counters on external websites. To clarify, when you send a URL through a private message to a friend, Facebook scans that message and if that page has the Like button plugin, the counter for it will increase. When this was discovered, Facebook immediately investigated it and noted a bug in the social plugins for external sites and they committed themselves to fixing it. Whew! Thanks Facebook! We were really concerned about the Like counters and not the fact that you are scanning our personal messages for information. Facebook claims personal information is not being shared with any third party. This feature just feels a little too big brother to me and is just more proof that there is no privacy on the internet.
What do you think about these changes? Let us know in the comment section!
Author: Nathan Mendenhall