As I perused AdAge this morning, I stumbled upon a lengthy article about Eat24 parting ways with the “social” giant. I must say that Eat24 made some very valid points. Facebook has been acquiring a wide array of social media companies as well as some more questionable acquisitions in the form of Oculis Rift, a VR gaming company. The push for monetization on Facebook's end has been maddening. The downward spiral seemingly stemmed from its IPO some time ago. Since then, a myriad of questionable decisions and frivelous spending have plagued the once mighty social giant.
Eat24 wrote “We made mistakes too. We actually paid for some of those annoying promoted posts. You were all like, 'Dude, you gotta try out promoted posts, It'll help you make more friends and then more people can enjoy your LOLZ.' So we tried it because we loved you. Also, YOLO… And it's true, we got a ton of new likes on our page. Look at all these new friends, we thought. There's a guy in Houston, and this guy in… Bangladesh? And this girl in… Dubai? WTF Facebook!?… Right now we're only in the U.S., so even though we love our new international friends, we'd prefer not to piss them off by showing them a photo of a delicious calzone that they can't even order.”
While this was hilarious, it was also frighteningly true. You couldn't hit the nail on the head any better, unless you were to read further….
“But the bigger picture issue is that we can't trust you. You lied to us and said you were a social network but you're totally not a social network. At least not anymore… Why should we have to wade through a dozen promoted posts about how to lose belly fat (are you trying to tell us something?) and requests for Candy Crush (NO! Just no.) and suggesting we like our arch nemesis' page (seriously, WTF) before we can finally find the perfect Doge meme? It really seems like you've lost your way and have become nothing more than an ad platform.”
As someone who must delve into the social realm on a daily basis, sometimes against my better judgment, I can completely understand. So why do we stay active on Facebook. Simply put, it's the perceived lack of alternatives. I WILL, however, step out on a limb and vouch for the legitimacy of Google Plus. Not only can you network with anyone regardless of whether you originally knew them or not, but you can receive feeds from people that you actually want to hear from and organize your contacts into endless sub-groups. This past week, I even played trivia in real-time via Google Plus Hangout's Sporcle app.
What's more is that Facebook is constantly changing their user interface as well as the frequency with which organic reach for small businesses occurs. Change happens far too often and sometimes things are best left alone.
End of rant.