- Facebook provides its services for free to people like me. When the company went public, it was clear that its business plan, the way the company planned to make money, was based on selling ads. And so they have. When I look at my Facebook news feed, there are ads on the right side of the page. When I like the page of a company, their ads start showing up in my main news feed. All of that makes sense to me. For the privilege of using Facebook to connect with my friends, I agree to be the commodity that Facebook sells to its advertisers.
I think maybe Facebook has not been making enough money from their current business plan. So recently we got the following news.
- Facebook has a new plan that would allow companies to pay for the privilege of having their posts delivered to the news feeds of people who hadn't liked their pages. I hadn't noticed a difference in my news feed until this week. I think Facebook rolled these changes out gradually, testing on a few users, fixing problems and gradually expanding the number of people who started to see ads in their news feeds from pages/companies with whom they personally have no relationship. In fact, I don't think everyone has these updates appearing in their news feeds even now since one of my friends commented on a post I made about the issue and said that she doesn't see such posts in her news feed. I completely recognize Facebook's need to make money. I put up with advertising to get the Facebook service for free. But at some point, the ads become obtrusive. I'm finding the ads in my news feed from companies in which I have no interest to be quite annoying.
I wondered if others were finding these ads annoying as well. So I decided to see what other people were saying about these promoted posts. Here's the kind of stuff that I found.
- I think you can see that all of this was targeted at the promoters of posts. That is, nearly everything I found was targeted at the advertisers. The content was focused on how to use promoted posts to create a brand for whatever you're trying to sell without overdoing it so that the consumer begins to see your posts as spam. So the way I'm dealing with this new development is that every time I see a post in my news feed that is sponsored by a group or company that I have not liked, I am going to mark it as spam. I'll be curious to see the consequences. In the meantime, I completely understand that I am the commodity that Facebook is selling.