Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The first taste is free.
February 10, 2014 11:02 AM   Subscribe

The deathspiral of the "like". Australian science vlogger Derek Muller of Veritasium makes a convincing case for why Facebook likes are becoming less and less useful for brands --- and why paying for ads on Facebook locks you into a cycle of dependency which actually makes it harder to reach people who actually care about your content. (SLYT, 9min).
posted by Diablevert (87 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
When I'm watching television on Hulu and an advertisement comes on, there's always a button in the upper corner of the screen to "tweet this ad". WHO PRESSES THIS BUTTON?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:08 AM on February 10 [30 favorites]


Yeah, Amazon has been offering me the opportunity to announce my purchases to Facebook and various other outlets. HEY EVERYBODY! I JUST ORDERED ADULT DIAPERS FOR MY MOM! One hopes stuff like this is not the entire basis for the New Economy.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:21 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


I like this post, so I'm going to poke it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


HEY EVERYBODY! I JUST ORDERED ADULT DIAPERS FOR MY MOM!

The biggest problem is that it doesn't even give you the opportunity to claim that they are for your mom so it comes off as an advertisement for your own adult baby fetish.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:32 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Facebook = MySpace 2.0.
posted by localroger at 11:33 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I do facebook professionally as a social media marketing person and I don't buy likes. I do resent Facebook holding the audience hostage until I pay a fee by "boosting" a post. Pretty much no matter what I post, only 17-25% of the total audience of facebook fans for any one of the pages I manage will see a post. I have noticed pretty low engagements on much bigger facebook fan pages that I track. Facebook's utility as a marketing platform is very diminished since last spring.
posted by N0TALLTHERE at 11:36 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


The video in the FPP is apparently a follow-up to this one.
posted by monospace at 11:36 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I agree with this sentiment. I think Reddit is the same way. Great ways to get a bunch of clicks, nearly useless for reaching a real audience.
posted by DinoswtfEd at 11:40 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I watched this earlier this morning. The thesis is basically this: "Buying likes on Facebook is a pointless waste of money because you either get them from click farms—and thus have not reached your audience—or from Facebook, and even the ones you buy from Facebook end up being from click farms since they like everything in an attempt to hide their click farming activity and you haven't reached your audience."

My thesis before watching the video was "Buying likes on Facebook is pointless waste of money."

So... I'm glad we're in agreement.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:41 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


This is exactly why I think I'm going to cancel my FavMe subscription. $29.95/month for Matt & co to boost my FPPs? I'm not not seeing the favorites return on the money, and it feels like the posts I don't end up paying to promote get fewer eyeballs than average. Ugh.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 11:41 AM on February 10 [29 favorites]


I am shocked, shocked, that Facebook is colluding with click farms to promote a Like based economy.
posted by benzenedream at 11:43 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


*chooses a product at random*

Kraft Cheese
101,008 likes · 593 talking about this


Like...for real? Well, I guess you don't want to miss out on wisdom like this:

"The best way to cheer on America this month? With your favorite American cheese of course."
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:44 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I pay attention to advertisements... so I know what never to buy.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 11:47 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: an advertisement for your own adult baby fetish
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:48 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Kraft Cheese
101,008 likes · 593 talking about this


I've got one old acquaintance who I've blocked from showing up in my newsfeed because it seemed like he "liked" anything that showed up in an ad. Amazon, Pepsi, Verizon...basically any company that showed up in my feed had his picture next to it saying he liked it. I clicked on your Kraft Cheese link and there was his smiling face as the only of my friends who had liked it. If I didn't know he was a real person, I'd say he was a clickbot.
posted by msbrauer at 11:49 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I've been off Facebook for a few years now, so now that I'm clicking around on various company and product pages they seem profoundly odd. It's hard to believe that something like this involves any actual human interaction whatsoever.

lol your not supposed to *drink* it, dood
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:55 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


If I didn't know he was a real person, I'd say he was a clickbot.

Just because he's a real person doesn't mean a clickbot hasn't acquired privileges over his account.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:59 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I had a friend who "liked" over 100 companies; McDonalds and such. After getting deluged with ads for a while I decided it wasn't enough just to hide him, I had to confront him with the harm caused by his actions. That was kind of dumb of me. We're not friends any more; nor are we "friends".
posted by gurple at 12:05 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I once worked for a company whose entire marketing and business strategy was based around the number of Facebook likes they had. I think it was over a million. And they would, like, strut around the office bragging about all their likes. It was baked into all their sales projections and such. Their strategy was almost literally:

1. Get lots of Facebook likes
2. ???
3. Profit!

Then they launched. It, uh, didn't go so well.

And they were genuinely astonished. "BUT WE HAD ALL THOSE LIKES!" they said as they handed out our severance checks.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:08 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


"I am shocked, shocked, that Facebook is colluding with click farms to promote a Like based economy."

It's called Whuffie.
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


For me, Facebook has basically just become a service for instant chat and birthday reminders
posted by starman at 12:10 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Some companies require you to like their page in order to enter contests. I set up a separate account to due so, because I don't want to help advertise products I don't care about.
posted by Harpocrates at 12:11 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Zuckerberged again!
posted by cman at 12:12 PM on February 10


Hey, *I* watched the whole thing, but you can read the BBC article about Virtual Bagel and this AP article about click farms to get the gist.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:13 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Video references an article at 7:17 that appears to be this one. Which in turn provides a link to a piece with some hard numbers highlighting Facebooks changed system back in Dec with the following numbers:
•73% average drop in reach since December 3 (with the greatest drop at an astonishing 95%)
• 86% drop in engagement (likes, comments, shares)
• 7.4% average reach to followers, down from 42%

And concludes that we should all join google plus as a solution.
posted by zenon at 12:13 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Kraft Cheese
101,008 likes · 593 talking about this

Like...for real?


Apparently...


Vanessa Did you change Kraft 2% singles? I always use them for grilled cheese sandwiches, and tonight, the cheese wouldn't melt. I even put it in the microwave, but it still didn't melt. What's up with that? Is this the new normal?

Kraft Cheese Hi Vanessa. Thank you for your question. In March 2012, the Kraft 2% Singles were re-formulated. The natural color paprika extract replaced the natural color “apocarotenal”. You will see this listed in the ingredients as “oleoresin paprika” or “paprika extract”. We also now use “milk” instead of part-skim milk. The Kraft 2% Singles slices have the same 45 calories per slice, and still 1/3 less fat than Kraft Regular Singles and remain an excellent source of calcium. Despite these changes, there should be no change in flavor, taste, texture or melt.
Like · Reply · February 5 at 9:37am

Vanessa Thank you for the reply, but I still need to know why the cheese won't melt. You've told me that the changes wouldn't cause this problem, so what is causing the problem? I use the product often, so I don't think this is something from a 2012 change....this is just a recent occurrence.
Like · February 5 at 10:27am

Kraft Cheese Hi Vanessa, Thank you for your response. In order to better assist you, could you please send us a private message with the UPC of the product, use by date, and your contact information? Thanks and we'll look for your message.

... and hundreds more just like it.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:14 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


The real problem that I've had explaining to higher-ups is that facebook likes (or even engagement — shares, comments) doesn't translate into money or actual advocacy (calls or emails to electeds, stuff like that). So while we have a modest budget, I don't ever really use it, and since I've fully taken over the social media, I've gone with a strategy of posting semi-contentious stuff to get the comments way up — I shoot for things where people can legitimately disagree without making it personal, e.g. whether or not to boycott the Olympics due to Russia's anti-LGBT laws. It's increased engagement on the page, but I still don't think of it as an effective mechanism for driving real activity. It's more something that we do because the board expects us to have a FB page, because other orgs do too.
posted by klangklangston at 12:14 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


same here, Starman. That and planning family events. If text messaging wasn't so damn unreliable on my virgin mobile phone, I probably would log in to facebook... once a week or less?

grumble grumble diaspora grumble
posted by rebent at 12:15 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Cheese tech support! That's fantastic.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:18 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


And they were genuinely astonished. "BUT WE HAD ALL THOSE LIKES!" they said as they handed out our severance checks.

"Now they're yours. Don't spend them all in once place."
posted by griphus at 12:19 PM on February 10


> ... and hundreds more just like it.

I'm gonna turn into that guy you see angrily muttering to himself on the street corner.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:19 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Vanessa Thank you for the reply, but I still need to know why the cheese won't melt. You've told me that the changes wouldn't cause this problem, so what is causing the problem?

Kraft Cheese Hi Vanessa, Thank you for your response. In order to better assist you, could you please send us a private message with the UPC of the product, use by date, and your contact information? Thanks and we'll look for your message.


I have a feeling that's the last anyone will ever hear from Vanessa.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:19 PM on February 10 [31 favorites]


Cheese tech support! That's fantastic.

Did you check to make sure the cheese was plugged in? Have you tried completely turning off the cheese and turning it back on (hard reboot)?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:23 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


I have a feeling that's the last anyone will ever hear from Vanessa.

Kraft Cheese Thank you for your response Vanessa, our Cheese Consultants now have a lock on your position and are on their way to your location. Please do not attempt to leave until the Cheese Consultants have arrived. Resistance is futile.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:24 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Cheese tech support! That's fantastic.

And just like that, I know what the hero of my in progress RomCom script will do for a living!
posted by Naberius at 12:38 PM on February 10 [29 favorites]


monospace: "The video in the FPP is apparently a follow-up to this one."

That first video strikes at a much more fundamental issue. The Facebook Bubble is worse than the search engine bubble, because it systematically disadvantages those with fewer financial resources.
posted by tybeet at 12:39 PM on February 10


"I've been off Facebook for a few years now, so now that I'm clicking around on various company and product pages they seem profoundly odd. It's hard to believe that something like this involves any actual human interaction whatsoever. "

thanks, mountain dew
posted by Rhaomi at 12:43 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


And just like that, I know what the hero of my in progress RomCom script will do for a living!

Architect?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:43 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I agree with this sentiment. I think Reddit is the same way. Great ways to get a bunch of clicks, nearly useless for reaching a real audience.

I mentally kerned the c and l in "clicks" together when skimming, and you know what? Still accurate!
posted by jason_steakums at 12:44 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I would think a bunch of dicks would be a great way to get people to view your page.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:47 PM on February 10


I am shocked, shocked, that Facebook is colluding with click farms to promote a Like based economy.

I don't think "colluding" is the correct term here, since that suggests that Facebook is actively working with click farmers. That said, I'm not quite sure what the precise term would be - "exploiting"? "Taking advantage of the existence of"? There's surely something pithier.

That said, the video left me a bit confused - he's talking abut how Facebook should be deleting the fake likes, but at the same time is also noting that the whole *point* of liking excessive numbers of things is to hide the fact that your activity is fake. That is - it sounds like his real issue is that many more fake accounts exist than have been deleted, not that particular likes need to be removed. Or do likes remain even after an account has been deleted? (Seems unlikely, but the world is strange.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:47 PM on February 10


I agree that was a little unclear, GtM. I think he's saying both that Facebook should be more on the ball about deleting the accounts that do this, and that page owners should have some better way to disavow likes. You can choose how to target the ads in the first place, but you can't delete likes from spammers once they've glommed onto you. And filtering by country is not as useful as he had imagined based on the cat page he created.
posted by Diablevert at 12:55 PM on February 10


WHO PRESSES THIS BUTTON?

The people we know may be, like the proverbial non-Nixon voters, unrepresentative of the mainstream. I suspect that there is a proportion of people who have bought into the assumption that liking brands/retweeting viral ads and such are part of the way you interact socially in this society, and that brand following is part of the construction of identity; that you're a composite of the brands you consume and like. A bit like the “pointer” subculture in A Visit From The Goon Squad, only not comprised entirely of toddlers.

Of course, this isn't limited to the terribly gauche people who like McDonald's because it's fun and makes them feel good; the same thing can apply to NPR listeners, Guardian readers or people who are passionate that vi is better than Emacs. Though the less one has to say in terms of content (as opposed to speech-as-social-grooming-behaviour), the greater a proportion of one's identity is comprised of brands.
posted by acb at 1:01 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


acb, I think that's a brilliant point. That's also the difference e.g. between "liking" the Daily Show on fb so that you see their videos vs so that it shows up as one of your interests.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:04 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


We also now use “milk” instead of part-skim milk.

Am I the only one bothered that the cheese tech support rep felt the need to put milk in quotation marks?
posted by zixyer at 1:05 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


"Am I the only one bothered that the cheese tech support rep felt the need to put milk in quotation marks?"

Technically, it's malk.
posted by klangklangston at 1:07 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Any "Like" in exchange for the chance to win an iPad automatically renders the Like meaningless. And yet...the begging continues.
posted by davebush at 1:16 PM on February 10


If I didn't know he was a real person, I'd say he was a clickbot.

I have a FB friend like this. The most amazing one I've noticed is that she likes BMO Harris Bank, even though she lives in Georgia where there's not a BMO Harris location around for 200+ miles in any direction.
posted by phunniemee at 1:19 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I was watching the Olympics on broadcast television last night, & at the end of a commercial, there was a spash on the teevee telling me to like their company on Facebook. Who in the hell is going to get up from the television, go to the computer, log in to Facebook, hunt for product x and "like" it as a result of that 1/2-second blurb at the end of a commercial? Anybody? Do people do this?

Don't do this.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:19 PM on February 10


Who in the hell is going to get up from the television, go to the computer, log in to Facebook, hunt for product x and "like" it as a result of that 1/2-second blurb at the end of a commercial? Anybody? Do people do this?

They won't get up to do it, but your hypothetical watcher might have a smart phone with the facebook app on it in their pocket (or perhaps out) at that very second...
posted by Going To Maine at 1:23 PM on February 10


About the only time I've ever enjoyed the Like hunt is when we'd get a bunch of businesses together and do one of those "for every like we'll donate $1 to this charity" things. Other than that situation it just feels like a waste of time scrambling to get likes instead of cultivating a community that engages.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:24 PM on February 10


My theory is that people who either are directly in the "like economy" (see online marketers, etc.) feel compelled to also participate in it, lest the house of cards come tumbling down. Maybe that's what your friends do?

Or, if they're anything like some of my relatives, simply click on anything and everything without looking at whether it needs to be unchecked or not ("get that out of my way!").

One thing I've never been clear about: You're a company. I want to look at something on your website. You try to make me sign up for your marketing information, or somehow trick me into doing it. What do you think my reaction is when I you spam me?

"Oh, those guys. I love those guys! I'm sure glad they sent me this thing which I couldn't care about and has no easy way to unsubscribe from!" Uh, no.
posted by maxwelton at 1:30 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


They won't get up to do it, but your hypothetical watcher might have a smart phone with the facebook app on it in their pocket (or perhaps out) at that very second...

I actually thought the word "sheeple" just now. Please send the cheese police- I'm over the hedge.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:31 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


•73% average drop in reach since December 3 (with the greatest drop at an astonishing 95%)
• 86% drop in engagement (likes, comments, shares)
• 7.4% average reach to followers, down from 42%


Even as a user not a company this has been annoyingly obvious, as it's now much harder to ensure I get all the posts from companies I actually want all the posts from. You can do it, but much fucking around.in the ever changing Facebook settings are required.

Seems like a pretty boneheaded move, alienate the people (companies and advertisers) that drive most of your revenue.

I've gone back to subscribing to email newsletters from some publishers/companies, ye gods.
posted by smoke at 1:36 PM on February 10


The only reason I like big companies on Facebook is sweepstakes. It's probably why a lot of people do it.
posted by interplanetjanet at 1:43 PM on February 10


Point the first: So I (foolishly?) said yes, I'd participate in the Facebook Users Survey thing and every few weeks I get the same survey and fill it out the same way: I hate the news feed, I want to see every post from everyone I follow, and I don't mind ads just please, please let me see everything I follow. For whatever good that will do.

Point the second: OMG we had that exact same problem just this week with the 2% cheese slices! Thank you, Metafilter, I never would have thought to contact Cheese Tech Support otherwise!
posted by JoanArkham at 1:44 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Like this if your cheese won't melt.
posted by panaceanot at 1:44 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Part of the problem, Smoke, is that the majority of people are morons who aren't really alienated by being swept along in the content stream, and those are the most likely to buy Velveeta or whatever, so who gives a fuck if you alienate a few Soft Skull fans. They're not alienating people that drive most of the revenue, they're alienating small producers who are not a significant source of profit.

Which is why people are looking into g+ or tumblr or instagram, even though all of them are kinda bullshit too. But I'm kinda dreading the day where it's expected that a coms department will maintain, like, 10 different social media platforms on a regular basis.
posted by klangklangston at 1:45 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Like this if your cheese won't melt.

Like this OR your cheese won't melt! That's how you get 'em.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:50 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


posting semi-contentious stuff to get the comments way up

I kind of do this too. It started unintentionally, because I happen to like contentious articles that get people talking and asking questions (although I really hate aggressive internet arguments, but that's another issue), and it seems to help warm up engagement on Facebook, since by their own formula only a fraction of the people who've "liked" my page even see the things I post. Nevertheless, I think since the start of this year, engagement has been down even on contentious posts. (And zenon's link seems to explain that!)

Thankfully I have never paid for any likes or Facebook's own advertising services. I never had faith that doing so would result in anything OTHER than exactly what is described in the video. Usually that just makes me a cynical asshole, but apparently in this case it made me an accurate cynical asshole.
posted by Ouisch at 1:55 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I'm the chair of the board of a small independent magazine in rural Quebec, serving the local anglophone population. I've done the "promote on Facebook" thing within the past 12 months for the magazine's page and for a couple of specific posts, using their free "try it!" credits, and accrued a small number (100 or so) "Likes" from the process.

My targeting is probably so granular (province, region, language, interests) that it avoids the spammers altogether, but I have yet to get a single false Like or garbage result from the process. I don't know if I'd pay *money* for it, but it's served me well in my very limited needs.
posted by Shepherd at 1:59 PM on February 10


I tend to assume companies who brag about their 'likes' on social media do not understand how the Internet works and are being exploited by those who do.

Sadly, the ranks of the clueless include most of my employers.
posted by winna at 2:01 PM on February 10


And just like that, I know what the hero of my in progress RomCom script will do for a living!

That is fantastic. I have also been looking for some quirky profession to give an auxiliary character in my most recent script. Cheese hotline rep...check.
posted by Benway at 2:04 PM on February 10


Actually looking at the Kraft Facebook page, there are also some posts from small businesses saying "I liked Kraft, how about a like back." I wonder what "social media guru" took their money to tell them that...
posted by JoanArkham at 2:11 PM on February 10


The people who 'like' everything aren't sheeple-- they're revolutionaries using the tools of Facebook to destroy Facebook. Every insincere 'like' wastes advertising money, dilutes the audience pool, and erodes critical metrics like 'engagement'.
posted by Pyry at 2:19 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


monospace: "The video in the FPP is apparently a follow-up to this one."

You know, this is a GREAT video and it needs to be spread far and wide. It really though, just cements what i was saying yesterday.

Mainly that facebook is a black hole where things get sucked in and never escape. Want to look at your own data? too bad. Want to look at data that you were involved in? too bad. Want to send data, whether that's business stuff for your brand/your work or just some personal photos? TOO BAD.

What the fuck is facebook even for if something you send reaches less than 9% of the people who signed up to see your stuff?

It really seems like it just exists to suck in as much information about people including how they interact with brands/corporations as possible and then keep as much of that as they think they can get away with before everyone completely stops using their services locked down behind closed doors. Except you know, technically those doors aren't closed! you just have to come in this very specific way, and then you're in a giant library that is intentionally obtuse.

Who would put up with a cell phone carrier that only successfully sent less than 50% of text messages?(Hey, i had that service! it was called boost mobile!) Or dropped most calls just letting them ring to voicemail without ever ringing the phone on the receiving end?

They would go out of business in a couple months depending on how much seed capital they had, and every freaking major tech site or aggregator would have huge screeds burning them to the ground with thousands of comments.

How is it like, something people just don't care about when facebook does it?
posted by emptythought at 2:36 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


My phrase for that is that Facebook is the opposite of a content management system.
posted by dhartung at 3:12 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Ugly.

Ugly.

Ugly.

Help.
posted by stanf at 3:41 PM on February 10


What the fuck is facebook even for if something you send reaches less than 9% of the people who signed up to see your stuff?

They do use some intelligence to try and filter out garbage posts, so while they will initially show your content to 9%, if those people 'engage' then more people will see the post, and if it continues being popular enough it could end up being shown to over 100% as it can be displayed to friends of friends.

Of course the Facebook definition of 'engaging content' may not be what you would choose if you had any choice in the matter. Facebook is less like a personal blog and more like submitting links to Digg.com
posted by Lanark at 3:54 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


...why paying for ads on Facebook locks you into a cycle of dependency which actually makes it harder to reach people who actually care about your content.

What horror could come of this? Could this ugly cycle cause Facebook to implode? Stay tuned.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:11 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


It's the advertising for Facebook Likes that's stupid and useless. It's still a brilliant advertising venue for ads that direct people off Facebook. (As a bonus, some people will Like your page and share your ad, which even I as the advertiser completely do not understand, but that is not the engagement I am paying for.)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:45 PM on February 10


> Though the less one has to say in terms of content (as opposed to speech-as-social-grooming-behaviour), the greater a
> proportion of one's identity is comprised of brands.

Bodhidharma--why, that dude said nothing at all for nine years. But brands? Man, he had 'em like a head of steers in Texas.
posted by jfuller at 6:09 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Facebook, for translating yet more of my social insecurities to online interactions.
posted by ckape at 6:51 PM on February 10


I agree with this sentiment. I think Reddit is the same way. Great ways to get a bunch of clicks, nearly useless for reaching a real audience.

if you target the right sub, you can get SERIOUS engagement.
posted by Dr. Twist at 6:52 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Even as a user not a company this has been annoyingly obvious, as it's now much harder to ensure I get all the posts from companies I actually want all the posts from. You can do it, but much fucking around.in the ever changing Facebook settings are required.

Here's the thing, though: as time goes on, you will inevitably end up "liking" more and more companies. (Unless you actually go through and "unlike" pages on a regular basis.) There are still only so many hours in a day, and only so many posts you can be expected to view. If you're the kind of person who likes a hundred or more fan pages/companies, do you really want to see everything they post? Your news feed would become little more than "voluntary exposure to a constant stream of advertising."

Is that really an ideal Facebook?

What do you see as a viable alternative?
posted by ShutterBun at 7:29 PM on February 10


Debaser626:

Holy shit is that seriously a tech support request for a slice of cheese product?
posted by odinsdream at 7:30 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


What do you see as a viable alternative?
Let the user pick what they want to see. Look at any other modern tech product that lets you filter and consume lots of digital information and you'll see categorization. Take G+ or my RSS reader or my email client as examples: I can put scientists whose work I need to follow in one group, companies who occasionally have product release announcements that I'd like to know about in another, my family in another, etc. Even in the most primitive interface, I can have a "home" which contains the groups whose output I want to see 100% of the time. For the other groups, I can choose when to browse them, and when I do I see 100% of their output. Smart products (G+ is sort of good at this and occasionally quite terrible at it) can even be told "this group is unimportant, but not so much that I never want it in my 'home' display: if the post appears to contain important keywords, mentions me by name, etc., let it show up in 'home'."

The technology to let a user see 100% of what they've told you they want to see isn't exactly new. The technology of filtering it out by category (be that some Bayesian spam filter or what have you) is nearly as old.
posted by introp at 8:10 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Basically: any product which doesn't let you see 100% of the publishing output of your chosen sources, when you want to, is bullshit. Such a system's interests will almost never align with yours.
posted by introp at 8:12 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


How is it like, something people just don't care about when facebook does it?

1. Because Facebook is free for me to use

2. Because posts from my favorite companies are not "lost forever" the way a dropped call or undelivered text message is. If I want to see what they have to say, I can find it on their page. (Or, you, click "subscribe")

3. If I got every post from every friend and every page I liked, I would drown in an ocean of "stuff I'm probably not very interested in"
posted by ShutterBun at 8:48 PM on February 10


So many businesses don't have websites anymore, or don't update their websites as often as they do their Facebook pages. Pages I like turn up on my newsfeed, and that's how I find out my neighbourhood eatery is closing tomorrow for a private event, or that a coffee roaster's now supplying to a new cafe, or there's going to be a guerrilla pop-up store somewhere. It's easier to parse than a Twitter feed and less annoying than push e-mail notifications, and is so so useful. Am I using it wrong?
posted by hellopanda at 1:13 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


About the only time I've ever enjoyed the Like hunt is when we'd get a bunch of businesses together and do one of those "for every like we'll donate $1 to this charity" things.

So I can get you to donate $10000 to a charity by spending $10 at a click farm? Cool!
posted by DreamerFi at 1:33 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Where facebook is really failing is in serving it users not its advertisers. I 'like' a lot of my favourite restaurant's pages in the hope that I will see when they have interesting events, offers or openings. But I miss them all. Every single one. Becuase facebook actively buries their posts unless they pay up.

So I, as a facebook user, can't get the information that I want while on facebook because it is being held hostage.
posted by srboisvert at 6:58 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


I've done some advertising on Facebook for one of my musical projects, and I've received a bit over 10,000 likes. My post reach is something like 100 views, or around 1% of my "likes" (it gets even lower when I try to share some actual content, like a video or a song). And for some reason, over a third of my likes come from Palestine, with over 2% of the entire population of Ramallah having liked the page. Of course, this has all done but squat for downloads and sales...my only satisfaction is having nearly as many likes as a semi-celebrity acquaintance.

It actually makes my miss MySpace, where the connections seemed much more engaging and honest.
posted by malocchio at 8:32 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Even my IRL friends who "Like" my music posts on facebook never listen to them. I have about a 10/1 ratio of likes to hits on my web page, even amongst people I know in meatspace. I guess they think that by "liking" it, they're helping vaguely to promote it, somehow.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:18 AM on February 11


DIE FACEBOOK DIE
DIE FACEBOOK DIE
DIE FACEBOOK DIE

10347689 likes
posted by flabdablet at 10:55 AM on February 11


So I can get you to donate $10000 to a charity by spending $10 at a click farm? Cool!

Eh, it's crossed our minds, and we've discussed the possibility with the charities we've worked with. Click farm traffic is pretty easy to recognize though (as seen in the video), especially when your audience is almost entirely local people. Still, if it happened, we'd probably just donate some extra money on top of the legitimate likes just to smooth things over with all the inevitable "liars! you just don't want to pay! argleblargh!" posters who'd crop up even after presenting evidence of click farming.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:32 PM on February 11


DIE FACEBOOK DIE

No one who speaks German could be an evil man.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:24 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


« Older I Took Off My Hijab...   |   447 years ago this morning, th... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments