We live in times when actors play cricket, cricketers act as corrupt politicians, politicians watch porn in parliament and porn-stars become actors. No one seems to do what they’re actually supposed to. And still Twitter being down is considered to be a bigger tragedy than the National Economy being down. Aargh!
Somewhat similar is the case with Facebook I feel now. Wikipedia tells me its a “social networking service” but I have my doubts about it. Yes, for someone whose bread and butter is all about being on Facebook, am digging my own grave. But a man has got to do what a man has got to do. And that includes writing honest opinions.
Lets see Facebook from my eyes – a normal user plus a marketer. I enjoy my time on Facebook and also rack my brains on formulating strategies and run targeted Ad Campaigns for clients. Right from the moment I log into FB, am surrounded by all sorts of Ads. Right side Ads, Sponsored stories, Ads on my timeline, promoted posts, App Ads in mobile browsing….. the list goes on. Now, for a marketer, its good news – “Congrats mate! You’re ads are being bombarded on the audience”. Pfft. But as with all maniacs who’re mad about Social Media, I do too understand that’s exactly how it’s NOT supposed to work. But who’ll listen?
Now. changing my role from a regular user to that of being a marketer, I log onto one of the pages we manage and check its insights. BLISTERING STORM CHATTERING BARNACLES!!! Its all haywire. The post that was engaged by about 110 people, shows a virality of 1.3% and the post that garnered 4 likes shows a virality of 9.7%! Either the insights are totally screwed up, or I misunderstand the meaning of the word virality.
And then you have the admin control panel. Where, once upon a long time ago you could see notifications and list of new likes by default, now you only see “Get New Likes” and “Promote Post”. I feel more like am being asked permission to be robbed than advertise as a marketer.
Moving on, I go ahead to promote a post in a client’s page since its something important. (Yes, I am mad enough to use the promote option ever since some guys over at FB decided to decrease the organic reach of page content from 80% to about 20%. I’ll kill the person who thought only about the financials of it). And then I get my third and final heart attack of the day. The minimum rate for promoting a post has been increased to INR 300! From 260 to 280 to 300!!
Reflects my blood pressure at the moment.
Literally too scared to move on, afraid it might ask for my bank account access next, I close the work for the day. And start thinking.
Yes, Mark Z also wants to make money. Yes, he also has bills to pay and salaries to give. But a product which started off as a Social Network has now lost all its beauty. Its more like a classifieds site now, with a secondary motive to act as a Social Network. At times I feel better staring at the Classified page of the newspaper than the Facebook Home screen. At least no one offers me an iPhone 4S for 95% discount here 😐
Facebook might as well be named the best E-Commerce site out there yet. As for what they’re selling and what’s their product? I leave it to your imagination….