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Facebook's promoted posts: "Give us money or only 15% of your friends see your stuff"

POP QUIZ HOTSHOT - Do you want to build someone elses social network, have your data (and info patterns) sold to advertisers, and have to pay to promote your posts so that your pals can see your latest sarcastic update? Have I got the facebook for you. Act now and I'll throw in the Brooklyn Bridge.

Dangerousminds posted yesterday an agitated post yelling "Hey facebook I want my friends back". Our friends have been missing out on our constantly updated bowel-movements and whether we are wearing pants or not, because facebook is strangling our feeds so that they don't appear on everyone pages, all the time, like they used to. Like an old school fabled ghetto dealer, the first hits were free, but now that your mom&pop business is relying on your customers seeing your facebook posts and are jonesing for more, you gotta pay to be seen. Facebook is now a paid publishing platform. They'll deliver your posts to 15% of your followers as a freebie, but to reach 100% you have to open your wallet.

To reach 100% of of our 50k+ Facebook fans they’d charge us $200 per post. That would cost us between $2000 and $3200 per day—but let’s go with the lower, easier to multiply number. We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month… a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year—wouldn’t you know it—right around the time of their badly managed IPO.

Whenever the controversy raging over Facebook’s exorbitant Promote fees gets covered in the media, I’ve noticed that the comments have been very telling. Opinion seems to be about nine to one against it. Some in the “it’s a free country” section of the peanut gallery maintain that the new Promote “option” isn’t extortion, just capitalism, baby, and furthermore that disgruntled Facebook users have the simple option to seek out other venues that are free such as Twitter and Google+

I've tested this myself, on the wee Adland facebook page, by promoting a post when Facebooks automatic prompt gave me ten bucks to try it. 10,999 people might have seen the post but it's hard to tell if they bothered to read it, or if they even were fans to begin with. I'm not even sure one of these comments is in a real language.

Dangerous minds aren't the only ones who have noticed. Warren Ellis concludes that social media is a useless road to take when marketing a new book and won't be wasting his time on it. When CNN announced this feature Oct 3, it was still just an experiment. Now everyone has it.

"It would probably be useful for politicians, business owners, and narcissists, but useless for everyone else," Facebook user Matthew Cole quipped.

Steve Price of Plan-B Studio says that facebook "can’t make enough revenue from advertising because guess what? People don’t actually like being advertised too, and certainly not on Facebook which was pitched as a place to connect with friends and family, not brands and products." Eric Jackson thinks that both Google and Facebook might disappear in a few years. Why? Typing on wee phones is still harder than just talking to them, and who knows what the next tech-breakthrough might be? With the regular scandals about facebook data breaches, and the whole world making spoof ads that mock that chair ad, facebook is having a rough time.

But G+ is also trying the promoted posts idea, you might see if you bother logging in (yes, Adland has a brand page there too but no minions of interns to post on it).

If you ask facebook it has always been this way and by this they mean that not every fan & friend saw everything you posted, because when people fan a thousand brands, it's just not happening. George Takei got this answer when he seemingly overnight vanished from peoples feeds. He vanished from mine and I love the guy. Meanwhile every time I log into facebook I see the two most annoying people I know in every post, and a brand I "liked" six years ago which I'll unfollow at once. The helpful Facebook employee explains to George Takei:

"All Promoted Page Posts does is offer an easy way for page admins to pay to promote a post using FB ads using functionality that already existed."

With Facebook brand admins banned and massive brands like GM walking away from buying any Facebook ads, it being fertile ground for phishing scams and sock puppets galore it's a lot more trouble than it's worth.
Now when people are complaining left and right about the new promote-your-post, one has to wonder when the eyeballs all decide to go play with the next shiny new toy instead.
Zuckerberg is King, even if I didn't vote for him. You're the product but we told you this years ago, and now you are also the advertiser. That's what we get from telling everyone they are a "brand" out there.

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