Usually, things like this are a bit too controversial for me and I like to take the middle road, but I am convinced that facebook has simply gone too far. If you haven’t seen this blog by Dangerous Minds on your newsfeed yet today, here is the deal. Last spring, facebook, in an attempt to bolster their stock began the practice of “sponsored posts”. Essentially, as a business, blog or fan page you can pay facebook to publicize your posts.
That isn’t so bad. But it’s the shady business around that practice that is really, really bad for the little guy (like GCC, or CaPC, whom I write for). First, they turned down the exposure. So now, when a business/website page posts something only between 5% and 20% of the people who have ‘liked’ them see the content. If you want anymore, you have to pay.
Shady, but still not awful. But on top of that, they have the prices set on a scale based on the number of fans. And they are absolutely unreasonable. For example, Dangerous Minds (with somewhere around 50k ‘likes’) would have to pay over 600,000$ a year to sponsor all of their posts.
This makes it nearly impossible for small businesses, blogs, writers, et cetera to pay what it would cost to “promote” their material, that was absolutely free six months ago.
Because of this, large corporations with multi-billion dollar advertising budgets will be flooding your facebook feed, while small businesses just looking to get by go unnoticed.
This is sort of what Wal-Mart did to small towns in the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s. Making it simply impossible for smaller businesses (traditionally the backbone of a capitalist society) to keep up with the resources of larger industry. However, this time, the customers are generally unhappy with maneuver. Leading some to call this
What can be done.
Well, realistically, not much until Jesus comes back and abolishes our systems of government and commerce. But those rascals over at Dangerous Minds have done the best that they can. They actually shelled out some cash (just this once) to mass publicize their detailed protest against the practice, and it has become viral… all thanks to the system that is trying to choke them out! Talk about a Rock & Roll swindle!
And while nothing may come of it, to share this silly little link on facebook is to stand up for ethical business practices and for the small businesses that rely on facebook for exposure (and some of whom are sinking because of their loss in traffic). So here it is.