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How Facebook is pushing businesses into the arms of Google+

(Social Media) Facebook has made changes to their algorithm, but most businesses still have no idea why their Page is failing, and how Facebook could be positioning G+ to win.

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Facebook is changing their algorithm

Last month, Facebook announced changes to their algorithm in what they called an effort to improve news feeds, surfacing “higher quality” content to users that they are more likely to click on based on their current behavior on the site.

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This means that meme photos will be diminished in value along with overly shared links, as Facebook deems those to be lower in quality, and they will begin promoting news articles to users, stating that their research shows people enjoy coming across them more than they do pictures of landscapes with inspirational quotes, or shots of cats with silly phrases. They will begin displaying “relevant” articles underneath links in the news feed that readers have recently opened, with the idea that this will expose them to something else of interest.

But the truly important part: organic reach

Facebook also admitted that organic reach of Pages is dropping, so even though 6,500 people have indicated that they like your company and want to receive your updates on their news feed, the social media giant is surfacing Page content in news feeds less so they can charge for you to reach the customers you’ve already won over as fans.

They blatantly stated last month that that paid advertising is the best way to increase visibility, noting, “As the dynamic nature of News Feed continues to follow people’s patterns of sharing, Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly. Advertising lets Pages reach the fans they already have and find new customers as well.”

Some took this as a confession from Facebook that they are reducing the organic reach of Facebook page posts so they can suck money out of companies in the form of advertising, while others assert it is not a conscious effort, rather an acknowledgement that Facebook is getting noisier and to cut through the noise, brands must be engaging and may have to pony up to increase visibility.

Facebook says they expect this trend to continue, and we’ve seen it first hand in our own pages, regardless of the type of content shared. The video above is one of the best explanations of why this is a crock, and why we think that Facebook could be pushing business users straight into the arms of Google+.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matt

    January 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Yeah, it sucks to spend a lot of time and money building a fan base and having to pay to reach them. But… The reach that page posts get is extremely dependent on the engagement level of the people who have viewed it. If it is getting liked or commented on a lot it will reach a much higher percentage of your followers. For example if make a post that’s not very engaging and gets only a handful of likes it will be displayed to only about 10% of my followers or less. If I make one that is engaging and is being liked by a large number of the followers that viewed it (5%+ of all viewers) and is receiving comments, it will reach nearly the entire available page audience.

  2. Erin Round

    January 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the vid! it put all of my scattered thoughts into a nice video package 🙂 I work in real estate and keep telling new agents [and seasoned ones!] start using Google+, build yourself up which goes without saying for YouTube, Gmail, etc.. I don’t think anyone is too shocked with the direction FB has gone.

  3. Maris Munkevics

    January 17, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Facebook is pushing business pages into arms of Google+, however, Facebook still need to think how to push personal users towards Google. When this happens, the circle will be completed, lol.

  4. Leaf Mother

    May 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Actually all G+ needs to do is absolutely nothing, and eventually they will get most of Facebook’s SME market, which in turn will lead to these businesses promoting their G+ pages and thus attracting ordinary users to G+, and the migration will happen. Facebook’s greed will be their undoing. If G+ however implements a similar system of “double dipping” (akin to Fb making you pay for page likes, and then yet again to reach those likes), then G+ will be throwing away this potential migration to its platform.

    Whilst it might seem common sense for G+ to do nothing, let’s remember that big corporates make mind numbingly bewildering decisions all the time. Just look at how FB still hasn’t backtracked on its double dipping – to any outsider we can see from a million miles away this will backfire, and yet they can’t. If G+ doesn’t implement too many new “exciting changes” it will flourish. They just have to sit by now and wait.

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.

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Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.

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Woman talking on Clubhouse on her iPhone with a big smile.

Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.

To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.

On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.

And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”

Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.

Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.

A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.

Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.

So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?

For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.

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