Facebook Trial That Could Lead to Decline of Users
As one of the majorly used platforms for marketing businesses and communication between people, facebook has been beneficial to all users and has gained wide spread popularity all over the world. Other than the fact that it’s usually free in most cases, most people also find a wide client base on this platform adding to the reason why they love it. However, facebook recently made some changes that only allow popular news to run on the news feed while removing the less popular ones to the secondary feed. This has seen major decline of the platform’s users in the countries where the test has been carried out. Users from these countries such as Sri Lanka, Serbia and Slovakia, especially publishers and those promoting their businesses have reported that the change to only allow content from friends and adverts on the main feed has affected them negatively. This has then led to the reduction in the number of users within a very short time, as most of them no longer find the platform useful.
Other than individual users, some small websites who rely on this technology to increase popularity and attract more traffic have also reported losses with a majority of them pulling out, as reported by a Slovakian journalist. According to him, the change has to a general reduction of about 60% to 80% even though the trial of the new system was only for a couple of days. The short period leaves room for a lot for speculation.
Facebook on its end defended the trial saying they were only trying to improve user experience. They released a statement saying they always try to connect people with information they would find useful from all the information that flows through their platform. The trial to have separate feeds comes from the many requests they receive from people who usually complain about having an easier way to access the news feed from their family and friends. To give a solution, they specifically want to dedicate one feed to pages and the other to friends and family, according to the statement.
Those who pay for their promotions aren’t affected by this change, as well as notifications about accepted friend requests and followers. One research analyst at Enders Analysis described this move by the technology company as a “classic playbook”. He said facebook planned it well by first offering free reach to content, then asking people to pay for them then making it in such a way that they can only get access if they pay. He also noted that since premium subscribers had already noticed this trend, they stopped relying on social media too much. This means those big companies won’t be affected as upcoming one who rely solely on social media to attract audience and even make some money.
This move has also affected facebook videos that aren’t shared through the paid promotions. This means that even those publishers who relied on facebook videos will feel the effect of this change. These videos are of low quality that’s copied from other places in most cases. This means it can even be done away with completely since it doesn’t add any value to the platform provider. This could lead to a repeat of the same, with platform owners preferring paid reach over organic ones.
Although the result of this trial is yet to be determined officially, some people don’t see how it could possibly work. The Slovakian newspaper journalist simply states that news feed without news doesn’t make any sense and for that, he doesn’t see any possibility of a trial success. The content from friends only could be very boring thus, most people will stop using the platform. Soon after the news about the trial came out, facebook released another statement saying they didn’t plans to make it global at the moment.
The latest statement about not making the trial global gave some relief to some people as well as some time to up with other alternatives. The use of technology makes it possible for business owners to come up with creative ways that they can use to enhance their businesses. Exploring the option of using other platforms is one of the ways one can try out in case facebook goes ahead to implement this new idea, together with finding other cheaper advertising options.