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Pay To Play On Facebook Is Here To Stay

By Jennifer Olney | Small Business

With news of the changes to Facebook algorithm it is apparent that landscape of social business is changing to meet the demands of stock holders and advertisers. Facebook is still free to use but the views you receive on your personal and business pages will now be a crap shoot. This new shift in how your updates are to be viewed will be for those who have the money to spend to pay for the views. In the mind of Facebook, if you have the money, Facebook has the time for you and the views. Not exactly the brand promise Facebook originally made to its users.

For most marketers, the view is that if you write quality content, it doesn’t matter if you pay to play, if the content is good, people will see it. However, the problem is even with good content is getting a backseat to those who are paying for better placement. Which means, crap is king on Facebook. For example, if a marketer with a really bad pitch has the funds, they can pay to have those status updates seen on Facebook. Facebook isn’t really looking at who is paying. They are taking money from whoever is paying. Not exactly the best content providers. This can lead down a path of danger. Your news feed will start to take on more and more lousy content if you aren’t selective about the pages your follow. And on the other side, you will see more bigger brands taking up real estate like Coca Cola, Nike and others who will pay to get your attention moreso than your friends and family who will now need to cough up cash for you to see their vacation pics from Disney World. Not exactly, again what you thought you’d get when you logged into Facebook.

For Facebook, it appears “friends” is not their goal any more, it’s all about the Benjamins. And that is what ultimately will drive their users away – back to MySpace and most likely to competitors like GooglePlus. The young teens are already leaving Facebook because the parents and Generation X folks are taking over and it’s no longer considered cool or hip to be on Facebook. Now, Facebook is looking to drive away the last bastion of audience their advertisers need.

I suspect a course correction may be in order. Facebook needs to eliminate the pay to play option for every day users but they need to implement a better way to control the pay to play for pages. They need to pay attention to who is paying for the content and control the flow in their news feed. They also need to stop the marketing like the last three guys on the Titanic – telling everyone “everything is fine, nothing to worry about” and be honest with  their users.  Pay to play is here to stay and yes, I would pay to get rid of the crap in my newsfeed. I would pay a month fee like I do for LinkedIn but I want an ad free experience and I want to see my friends and family posts and I want to see the pages content that I like, not the pages that I do not. If I could pay to play, I would control the feed and have the user be in control not have Facebook tell me what I can or cannot see.

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