As of this writing Facebook’s stock price is down nearly 4 percent today after its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is going to deemphasize news and marketing posts in order to make the social platform more social. This is taking Facebook back to its roots of friends connecting with each other and not so much as a place where news is shared and local businesses promote themselves to whoever followed them.
Local Businesses Made Facebook $$$
Unfortunately, it’s local businesses that have made Facebook financially successful beyond even Zuck’s wildest dreams, not individual users. Once Facebook became the platform for communities to communicate Facebook started making money and the platform exploded with new users around the world. If Zuckerberg thinks that Facebook is primarily a place to share baby videos and to view Aunt Jane’s cruise ship photos he’s sadly mistaken. Facebook is much more than that! It is the primary platform in free countries worldwide for community sharing.
Facebook is the Platform for Community Sharing
Where and when is the local Farmers Market? I follow them because I want to stay in the loop and I’ll read the comments like an FAQ to get further details and I may even ask a question myself and it will be answered by someone who is in the know. Where else can this happen if not Facebook?
The local television station just posted a video about a car that crashed into a restaurant that I go to. I’m interested in that and want details. I not only watch the video and follow the link to a related article but I read the comments on Facebook from people who saw the accident. Where else but Facebook?
A bar regularly posts about their happy hour and next music act. I follow the bar to see these posts because I am interested and want their posts to appear in my newsfeed where I will see them, not buried 10 pages deep. The bar owner knows that his bars followers want this information. Because of how effective Facebook is for helping him reach his customers the bar owner pays Facebook to reach other non-followers with posts.
Additionally, the bar owner back in the day spent a lot of money on Facebook to help attract followers in the first place. It’s clearly not fair to the bar owner for Facebook to have taken his money to promote his bars followers to now make the bars posts invisible to most of them. Also, the bars followers want to see the bars posts and if they don’t they will unfollow.
Facebook Friends are NOT More Important than Community Connections
Yes, Facebook will live and die on use by individuals but individuals want to see posts that are relevant from their community, not just their Facebook friends and long lost relatives. Facebook and Zuckerberg must realize that almost everybody has what are commonly known as Facebook Friends, which are people that the person never communicates with in person but they silently like posts and notice updates from on the Facebook platform. There is nothing wrong with a Facebook Friend but those friends who may account for 80% of a persons friends on the platform are not what the platform is truly about.
Facebook is about community connections which may be from your close friends and relatives, your local church group, your local business, your local charity and your local news organizations.
It’s a HUGE Mistake for Facebook to Disconnect it’s Users From Their Communities
I think it is a huge mistake for Facebook to disconnect us from our communities even if their goal is a noble one, connecting us with our friends. Our friends live with us in a community of geography and interests and we all go to the same yoga classes, gyms, bars, restaurants and stores. We help plant trees for charities and provide spare jackets to the homeless.
We connect as a community with Facebook and that makes Facebook important and that’s why businesses invest their marketing dollars on the platform… and that is good.