Facebook Doesn’t Owe You Anything

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and...

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, during his European Tour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He said I have a defeatist attitude and told me that I disappointed him. I won’t lie and say I am sorry he feels that way because I see no reason to be sorry for having an idea that contradicts his.

You can call me what you will but I see no reason to believe that a petition is going to make Mark Zuckerberg and company change how Facebook works.

The source of distress here is tied into the changes Facebook has made in their news feed algorithm and the impact it has upon the status updates that businesses place on their pages.

There are people out there who are angry because they believe the change happened because Facebook is trying to force businesses to purchase advertising or risk not having their messaging seen by those who have liked the page.

Facebook Is The 800 Pound Gorilla

I didn’t sign because right now Facebook is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla that can do whatever it wants. I haven’t seen much if anything in their history that suggests a petition to change their businesses practices will work.

But I also didn’t sign because I have never placed all my eggs in the Facebook basket.  I don’t own the Joshua Wilner page because Facebook owns it.

That is no different than any one else or any other business and it is why I have always encouraged people/businesses/clients to use it as part of a cyberspace outpost and not as your hub.

If you don’t own the site you are at risk of losing data and hard work. Facebook can shut you down without warning for violating their Terms of Service and there is no guarantee you’ll be reinstated.

That doesn’t mean it will happen or that it won’t. It is similar to why you purchase certain kinds of  insurance.

You are not buying it because you expect to be in a car accident, natural disaster or robbed. You buy insurance so that if it does happen you are protected against loss.

In the online world we protect ourselves by creating a self hosted website and by funneling the data from those online outposts to our websites.

Facebook Doesn’t Owe You Anything

You can argue that the users are customers and that the customer is always right. You can say that without us Facebook wouldn’t have a product to sell and that this is why we have leverage.

Except leverage only works when the other side recognizes that you have some and I don’t see it here. Unless you can demonstrate how this has a negative impact on Facebook’s bottom line they aren’t going to change.

You’ll have to demonstrate how very large groups of people are no longer using it and thus far I have yet to see a petition that spells out how they can prove the negative impact.

We like to think Facebook owes us something and think that because we use their services on a regular basis we should be given something but that is not how it works.

Facebook is a free service and when you pay choose to use a free service you accept certain conditions such as changes to algorithms and or policies that you might not appreciate or approve of.

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7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Is Facebook Trying To Kill Your Business? - Joshua Wilner

  2. Jens P. Berget December 27, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Hey Josh,

    I’ve been thinking about what happened to me with Google AdSense, and they shut my account without notice or without explaining anything. And that was more than 5 years ago. I bet Facebook will do the same. So, like you, I’m thinking that we can use Facebook, but we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. We own our blogs, so we better build a community here.

    – Jens

    • Joshua December 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Jens,

      I think you are right to be concerned about putting all of your eggs in one basket. If as Rob said you act as a digital sharecropper you risk losing everything.

      If you don’t own your slice of cyberspace there is no certainty that the person/entity does won’t change the rules on you one day.

  3. Rob Biesenbach December 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I just did a post about ending my Facebook business page. I’m not mad at Facebook or feeling betrayed. They’re a business and they’re going to do what a business is going to do and anybody who’s a “digital sharecropper” needs to be prepared for the day when the landowner changes the rules on you.

    Anyway, that post seemed to resonate with a ton of people (on Facebook, actually) who I believe were looking for a good reason to give up their own business pages. There are so many pages that are just not engaging their audiences, but people press on because they feel they have to. (And, as I said, there are many, many business pages that are doing quite well, and good for them.)

    Some of those poor performing pages could be resurrected, I’m sure, with the right techniques. But the question is, why? To get comments, shares and likes? Do any of those generate leads, sales or conversions? If not, what’s the point?

    • Joshua December 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      Hi Rob,

      Many businesses aren’t on Facebook for any reason other than they think they should be. I can’t help but shake my head at that because it has always seemed silly to me to do things in business without having some sort of understanding of why you are doing it.

      If you don’t know why it makes it hard to plan and without a plan you are just asking for trouble.

      I think you are asking the right questions–if it doesn’t lead to something you can qualify/quantify it makes it hard to figure out if you are getting a return on your time/investment which makes you ask that same question about why are you on Facebook again.

  4. Ryan Biddulph December 24, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Amen Josh. If you don’t like it, start your own Facebook lol….smart share!

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