Earlier this year, when Facebook went through its now-infamous IPO, the world watched to see what would happen. Would it live up to the hype or would it be a flop?
But for business page owners, the question was how will this affect me? Of course, there was as much speculation on that topic as there was the previous. Now, it seems, we’re learning some answers.
A scandal or service?
Facebook is currently finding itself in the midst of a firestorm. Bloggers are taking on the social media giant, saying it’s getting crafty in its attempts to create revenue after its belly-flop of an IPO. Fueling the bloggers’ fire are business page owners who say their posts are being held hostage in the name of profits. Facebook and its supporters say it’s not about the money but rather creating a good experience for its users.
Regardless of who is right here, page owners are – and will remain – stuck in the middle of Facebook’s ongoing battle to turn the site into a money-maker.
For years, Facebook had investors out the ying-yang pouring money into ever-growing product. And until the IPO, being the biggest and the best was enough. But now there are stockholders to appease. And on the stock market, the only numbers that matter on the ones with dollar signs in front of them.
That leaves Facebook in a precarious position. It will have to find a happy medium between brands wanting to reach users and keeping an authentic and relevant experience for those same users. And keeping a watchful eye on the process will be pressure-cooker stockholders wanting their money.
So, what does all this mean for you?
Those might be the dirtiest words in America right now. Page owners can often be heard mumbling those words in disgust. Why? Because they’re paying for something that used to be free. Once upon a time, your post would go out to all (also an argued point) your fans and the world was a happy place. Now, with the advent of EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm touted as a weed-eater of sorts for news feeds, that’s not the case.
In May, Facebook began allowing page owners to ensure their posts were seen by the fans and more. All they needed to do was pay up. (As an aside, this is where Facebook is finding the bulk of its pushback from page owners and critics. If your argument is you want to keep a clean landscape for users in the name of serving them, how does allowing one to overthrow that balance with cash play into the equation?)
Now, six months later, Facebook is letting us in on how well it’s going. According to figures released, 300,000 pages have opted to do a total of 2.5 million Promoted Posts. With 13 million business pages now under Facebook’s belt, that’s really only a drop in the bucket. Seems maybe it’s not catching on too well with business page owners.
Where do we go from here?
That’s the latest question on everybody’s mind. Now that Facebook is a public company, the pressure will stay on to create a revenue-producing product. Behind the scenes, there’s likely a team of people cooking up new ways to monetize the site. We’ll just have wait and see which of those ideas will turn into the next ad opportunity. (If you’re the critic, you read that as “money grab.”)
But if you think there won’t be further push for revenue and profits and life will soon go back to normal, you’re about to be disappointed.
Thanks for reading,