Thursday, June 27, 2013

So When Can I, Like, Stop Using Facebook Already?

I'm guessing I'm not the only blogger whose seen the utility of Facebook decrease substantially in the last few months. My updates get fewer "likes" than they used to. Fewer people click through to my blog. The rate of new page likes has slowed considerably as well. Overall, Facebook is just not the crucial promotional medium it once was.

So why is this happening? Well, there are likely several factors. For one, there seems to be a swelling tide of Facebook ennui. People just don't enjoy using it the way they used to. Various social media polls have consistently shown that while more people are using Facebook than ever, they are also more and more likely to rate it as their least favorite social media platform. Facebook is simultaneously the most used and despised social media website. Young people report feeling like they have no choice but to use Facebook. It is a social obligation. It is that friend you can never exactly remember why you hang out with. People like using Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, but they feel stuck using Facebook. 

I can't blame people for feeling that way. I do too. I mean, it's hard enough to get myself to even look at Facebook these days, let alone post anything to it. More and more, Facebook feels like yesterday's news, like your grandparents' social media. Or perhaps more accurately, it feels like the primary advertising strategy of that guy you kinda knew in 6th grade. Personal status updates have taken a backseat to self-branding initiatives. Facebook is a bulletin board full of business cards. I stopped posting anything personal on Facebook more than a year ago. 

At the same time however, Facebook has decided to shoot itself in its foot by minimizing this very bulletin board function. Recently, Facebook decided to separate out its Pages Feed from its ordinary Newsfeed. This means far fewer users see the average promotional blog post than before. And this wasn't Facebook's first blow to the blogeratti. Some months back Facebook made the decision to only post updates in their users' timelines from pages they had actually opted in to receiving. If they hadn't taken that additional step, they simply stopped receiving updates. I, like many bloggers, saw the reach of my page updates go from hundreds to dozens overnight. 

And why would Facebook do this? Why would they want to limit the exposure of active Facebook pages? Revenue, of course. Facebook now offers bloggers, and any other Pages users, constant opportunities to "promote [their] page" and "increase their likes" for a fee.I suppose I can't entirely hold this against them. Facebook obviously needs to make its investors happy. But it's clearly less concerned with making its users happy. And this, predictably, is leading to some dissension in the ranks. 

How long can Facebook possibly remain viable as a business or as a communicational tool with so many people hating using it? How long can it remain indispensable when so many people fantasize about dispensing with it? And how long can it remain relevant to bloggers when it's actively working to make itself less useful to them?

So, now, here are my questions for you: is it still worth posting blog updates on Facebook? And are you still posting them on Facebook? Or are other platforms beginning to take its place for you? Are you more an Instagram or Tumblr person these days? Perhaps Pinterest or Twitter? Vine? Is using Facebook going to become a liability one of these days? Is it going to start counting against bloggers? Or are we all stuck using Facebook now matter how much we hate doing so? 


  1. I have never been a fan of Facebook, but I have a Facebook page for my blog, and still use it to promote my posts. I also noticed a sharp decline in the number of people my posts reached when Facebook separated their pages feed from the news feed and my "likes" declined. I wish I could stop using it altogether, but almost all of my followers in London use Facebook to follow my blog, while the followers from other parts of the world follow it by some other method (Bloglovin', etc.). Not sure what the answer is, but it would be great to be able to cut myself loose from the iron grip of Facebook soon!

  2. FB, Pinterest, and Goodreads are my most-used networks. I also enjoy Tumblr but am more sporadic about it. (I'm not on Instagram or Twitter though.) I don't use any of them for blogging, though. Nor do I see myself giving it up, since I use it to keep in touch with my extended family and friends around the world -well, that and Skype.


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