I’m sure any of the photographers out there who might chance upon reading this post have themselves what is called a “Facebook Page”. For those non-photography folks who use The Face simply for personal use, a ‘page’ is akin to your profile, but it’s designed for a business, or an artist, etc. Businesses are not allowed to have a profile, but must have created a ‘page’ if they wish to have a Facebook presence. My Facebook pages are here and here, if you’re interested, one for my photography (Skolai Images) and one for my guiding business, Expeditions Alaska.
Pages, over profiles, have the nice benefit of what they call “insights”, where the calculators at Facebook show you how well you’re doing with your Facebook marketing, branding, promotion, engagement, and so on. They have information available like how many visits your page has, how much “engagement” is has had, and even (kinda) where some of that traffic has come from. This data are called Performance Metrics.
So check out the photo above, and explain to me how a post might have 18 likes, 8 comments and (though you can’t see it in this screen capture), 20 shares, yet only 11 people have seen the post?
Facebook seem to be doing their very best to shoot themselves in the foot. People such as myself, be they photographers, writers, painters, cartoonists, musicians, etc, as well as other businesses, large and small, create content and post it to The Face, in order to reach more people.
Facebook are throttling the number of people they actually show our content to, regardless how good or bad it might be. Facebook’s intent is to make people like myself pay Facebook in order to increase the number of people who see my content.
Now, in my opinion, this isn’t a good way to go, and I believe Facebook will hurt themselves in the process, as well as hurt people artists and others who have worked to build themselves an audience on that particular social media platform. I think a much better way to go, for this particularly type of platform, would be to take their foot OFF the throttle, allow posts to be viewed without any kind of artificial mitigation, and then find a way to offer ads to those interested in paying to be seen on relevant posts that garner a requisite audience.
Then, share the revenue from those promotions with the content creator. This encourages an artist or any originator of good to promote their work, to increase their own audience, and both Facebook and those who are creating interesting content benefit. Youtube work this way, and are generating the scads of money for themselves.
I don’t know for certain, but I highly suspect a platform like Facebook, regardless how many ‘active members’ they have on their platform simply isn’t going to thrive on a pay to play model.
Particularly if they can’t count (see above photo).
Update: It gets better – now the post is up to 45 shares, nearly 30 likes, over 10 comments, and yet apparently only 10 people saw the post. So the number of views has gone down. Facebook working their magic.
I have seen that problem many times. In fact, I have a post today – a new cover photo – where the “insights” say it has only been seen 30 times, but it has 111 likes, 19 shares and 6 comments.
That’s weird. I’ve never seen the ‘viewed’ number to be so ridiculously low and below the other numbers. Something tells me the throttling and the messed up numbers are (a) related and (b) not perchance.
Very weird math indeed. I don’t think I have seen that one yet. I don’t see them changing their methods anytime soon. I am sure in their minds, they think they are doing their users a “service” by filtering content, to emphasize what they interact the most with. I seem to get in my feed the stuff I tend to click on a lot, but then my feed is starting to look more and more the same from all the same sources, much less than the variety of stuff I have liked or commented on in the past. That has me going off site a lot the old fashioned way – through bookmarks.
I find I do the same thing, and lately, enjoy Twitter more than The Face for a source of interesting content.
Obviously, Facebook need to “filter” the content somehow. If they just display it chronologically, anyone who doesn’t sign on for a couple of days, for example, will be buried. or folks with a lot of contact the same. But they can surely do that without doing what they’re doing now.
My biggest issue with Facebook today is simply trust. I don’t trust, at all, that the numbers they show me are the real numbers, and nor do I trust that “boosting a post” will get my content in front of a targeted audience, regardless of what they say. And that’s really what Facebook need to get people and business to advertise there – trust.
A couple of other people have said the numbers they see are quite the opposite; pages with relatively few “likes” are reporting post views far higher than the actual number of people who’ve “liked” the page.
If they don’t show some form of reliable data, I think it’ll hurt them more.
Ok – so when I browse the page via my Facebook app, on the iPad, logged into my personal profile, I see nearly 3500 views (which is about what I expect) listed for the post. When I go to the Facebook Pages app, or log in on my computer to Facebook and go to my page, it shows 11 page views. For some reason, Facebook are showing me one think when I log in as the page admin, and it’s completely wrong, and another thing when I sneak a peak via my personal profile.
The Facebook strangeness continues. I’ve been noticing all of my recent page ‘likes’ seem to be coming from a like farm.
Facebook is definitely making it very hard for us to do anything in the way of promoting our work, etc. On one hand I don’t feel like I can complain, as it’s largely a free service. However on the other hand, they’re going to cause their own demise due to an exodus of artists and small businesses.
Greg – I think that’s what a lot of people are seeing.
My guess is that artists and small businesses will continue to maintain a Facebook presence, but they’ll cut WAY down on spending money there. And Facebook needs some kind of revenue. But the more they either do this stuff themselves, or at best simply allow it to continue, the harder it’ll be for Facebook to get us to part with our money. I simply don’t trust Facebook at all. If they don’t make some significant moves to address this stuff, and rebuild trust between themselves and their clients, I don’t see how they’ll survive.