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back to article Facebook's stock rally may be shortlived: Small advertisers enraged

Facebook users are complaining that Facebook has intentionally downgraded services for owners of Pages on its social network platform because it wants them to pay for the reach they used to receive for free. In what users have called a "bait-and-switch" scheme, Page owners - from small shops to blogs to brands – have reported …

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Headmaster

Its been coming

They have been working up to this. But worse, they are sneaking it in for personal posts.

If you now post on FB you are offered a link to "promote this post". Yes for cash FB will ensure all your friends see what you have posted. Which is what used to happen but hasn't been happening for a while, presumably as they edged their way towards this pay for viewers model.

Also I am seeing more adverts inserted into my timeline to "like" products. Hilariously all of them are way off the mark. Yesterday I was invited to like a page for an Australian Equestrian Supplier as part of a promoted post. How the hell does that work? I've never even been to Australia and don't go near horses.

With FB losing money and their site becoming more cluttered and wanting money will they be going the way of MySpace I wonder?

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JDX
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Re: Its been coming

Paying to promote personal posts I find weird and I doubt it will get much use, I don't really want people to use it but it's a valid thing for FB to offer.

For people using FB for advertising/business, I have absolutely no problem with them having to pay for it. If my viewing your advert is worth my time, it's worth your dime.

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Re: Its been coming

With FB losing money and their site becoming more cluttered and wanting money will they be going the way of MySpace I wonder?

We can only hope.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Its been coming @Mr C Hill

>I've never even been to Australia and don't go near horses.

Kangaroos and horses, begs the question, have you liked any kebab related pages?

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Devil

Re: Its been coming

One can only pray that they are going the way of MySpace, with the added hope that they do much worse. Wake up. FB is Evil and the Zuck thinks you're all idiots.

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Thumb Down

Their corporate stock value is depreciated well under expectations.

The execs need to make more money than last year or they will be fired.

To do that they will now charge you to do the same thing you used to do for free.

Re-read the above if you are still confused.

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But who will fire them? The Zuck owns more than 50% of the voting stock, so normal investors have functionally no say in the management of the company. He and his executives serve at his pleasure.

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Pint

It all just goes to show that one should generally be cautious about investing in a business whose chief exec is accountable solely to himself.

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More patternising

You'll see updates from your "liked" pages, if you add them to your interests - thus confirming your continued interest and adding a datum to your file to be flogged to the advertisers.

<shrug> Adblock, a couple of Userscripts and a hosts file that mainly points to 127.0.0.1 stops the adverts. Obviously it doesn't stop me haemorraghing information to them, so it's a pyrrhic victory.

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Re: More patternising

Nipping in before the inevitable replies, I hope.

Of course, there is one way to stop spilling out my information - don't use Facebook. I would, but, like when I didn't have a mobile 12 years ago, I wouldn't get any invites to rot my liver and generally act 30 years younger than my real age, so I have to try and find an acceptable compromise

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FAIL

I spotted an option to promote a post I made - for just under £5.

What are they thinking?

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JDX
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I can't see it being used much but I wonder, is it the same price for everyone? I thought when I looked it was £2 - perhaps it depends on your network size?

I can see RARE times it might be useful, because you can never tell who will see your posts otherwise.

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Unhappy

I manage the facebook page of a small art group/studio and this could be the one thing that pushes us off facebook. We dont make a profit from what we do and cant really see the logic in paying to post on a free service (well what used to be). I feel that this will be the same for other page owners for the likes of local bars, bands and general clubs. They will move and find somthing else to promote on. Iv been looking into the growth of Google+ and how hard it would be top move and how many users we would lose. Iv a feeling it could be Google's time to shine and cash in on the facebook user anager.

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@chrislaughlin

>it could be Google's time to shine and cash in on the facebook user anager.

Just a small point but if these angry users leave because FB are trying to monetize them how can Google cash in if they (google) don't?

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Pint

Re: @chrislaughlin @Chris W

Google has an advantage, their main business is showing ads to people. So they don't need to try and charge people for posts or run down the free service to make users pay, all they need to do is get lots and lots more people using G+, and show them all lots more adverts.

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T&Cs

Is it against facebook T&Cs to simply put a link to your Google+ page where your facebook page was?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: T&Cs

Not if you pay for it.

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Re: @chrislaughlin

Just a small point but if these angry users leave because FB are trying to monetize them how can Google cash in if they (google) don't?

You could argue that they'd be happy to take the hit if it caused FB to fail. FB's success is probably the biggest competition that Google faces... covering free posts in order to assist with the degradation or demise of a major competitor would be good business sense. Google has lots more strings to its bow beyond its social media platform; FB just has FB.

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Laying golden eggs

Nothing on the internet lasts forever (except maybe spam and data caps). And FB has had a annoying good run. But like all the social sites that have gone before it - and all the ones that are still to come, FB will eventually go into decline.

Whether this is the start of the end or just the end of the beginning (we will fight them on the beaches ... harrumph!) will only be apparent in years to come. However if the FB management do have their finger on the pulse, it seems reasonable to squeeze as much out of the old goose as they can, even if that does hasten its demise.

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Re: Laying golden eggs

And there's the problem, right there. When you have your finger on the pulse and squeeze, you cut off the circulation!

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Pirate

I bought a product a few weeks ago...

... and was offered a £5 discount by the company if I clicked their Facebook Like button.

So I clicked the button, took the discount, bought the product and then Unliked the company!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I bought a product a few weeks ago...

I have a fake facebook account just for situations like that.

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Coat

Re: I bought a product a few weeks ago...

Let me guess: A bisexual slapper who went to the University of Antarctica?

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Maybe I don't use FB enough, but I hadn't noticed this.

For businesses, I believe this is an acceptable state of affairs. Why should FB allow them to advertise for free?

For groups (like small, unsigned bands) and similar, I think it's a step too far. I think the above logic could be applied to them, but they won't be doing it, and those who loose out will be the fans. I "like" my favourite local bands' pages so I can keep up with their latest gigs. If this is happening, I could easily be missing updates from them.

For individuals: WTF? Get lost!

I think this will signal the slow death of Facebook. I hope so. I have been sucked into it, only signing up so I could see pics from parties I went to. It's more difficult to leave when you use it as much as I do to keep in touch with friends, but hopefully it will die and I won't have any reason to use it anymore.

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Childcatcher

#Dr. Mouse

"For businesses, I believe this is an acceptable state of affairs. Why should FB allow them to advertise for free?

...

For individuals: WTF? Get lost!"

Why should there be any difference, other than in the amount charged for the service rendered? My guess would be the expectations of the users of Facebook's so-called service would inform the price, but other than that, if they can get individuals to pay for posts, I cannot think of a reason why they should not.

On the other hand, I think FB is generally crap and wouldn't pay a red cent for it, so perhaps I am not the target audience.

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Well done Facebook

… for finally figuring out a business model. Looks like a cross between Google's search words and Groupon. Now we just have to see how well it works or whether it just displaces businesses to equivalent platforms to shout out their ware, Twitter obviously the current favourite. As I don't use the service I don't really care but I do think it is important to see what kind of models actually work now that the hype is receding.

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Mushroom

Click like if you like liking pages that like to say click like if you don't like cancer

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Holmes

how about

I simply reply and say that I only smoke when I'm awake, although the shower does make it challenging.

Since I have no idea if what I think you said is what you thought you meant, or something.

(pic for the pipe, not for the NSS)

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Anonymous Coward

I guess these people didn't believe the history of Zuckerberg.

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Silly

I got asked the other day if I'd like to promote an inconsequential post (as most are) for £2.02. Of course not. I'd expect anyone seeing a user's posts flagged as 'sponsored' will most likely block them for being an arrogant tosser.

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Linux

Distributed networks...

Distributed social networks like Friendica and Diaspora will eventually take over from big centralised corporate networks. I think now might be a good time to set a few up as I can see it becoming easier to convince friends and family disgruntled with FB to make the switch.

Eventually, only distributed networks will be able to offer users the information they actually want.

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Re: Distributed networks...

"Distributed social networks like Friendica and Diaspora will eventually take over from big centralised corporate networks"

They need to work on the names. They sound like social diseases.

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Re: Distributed networks...

Diaspora sounds like a major event caused by some inbred king.

Friendica sounds like some stoner telling you what kind of pot he smokes.

(well, that's one way to edit a post...)

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Re: Distributed networks...

They need to work on the names. They sound like social diseases.

And Facebook doesn't?

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Re: Distributed networks...

"Set up a few"? Right. Because that makes it easier to keep in touch, to have several accounts next to each other. That's like having separate mail programmes for mailing your parents, partner, and (several for) friends... Not bloody likely.

It's not like there's much alternatives; you can go sit on your own on one of the 'many' alternatives, or you can stick around in the mess that is facebook. Or, you know, log off.

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Rob
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Re: Distributed networks...

Eventually though it all comes back to money, they will start off free but eventually overheads for running them will need to be paid and as soon as they start looking at business models the whole thing starts to degrade. There are certain types of content that need to be paid for one way or the other and a lot of businesses are starting to realise it, unfortunately users aren't.

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Anonymous Coward

When can we get this on El Reg?

How many would pay to ensure their post appears top of the list?

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Re: When can we get this on El Reg?

I wonder who would dare? I can imagine the derision it would cause. Besides, I bet the comments section would be a ghost town if el Reg brought that in.

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Re: When can we get this on El Reg?

If you wanted an impressive number of downvotes, paid placement would ensure them.

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Trollface

Re: When can we get this on El Reg?

I imagine that paying to say that you like MS and Apple products and dislike Android and Linux would result in so many people downvoting you that it would look like a DDOS on El Reg's servers.

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November 14 is looming

They are pulling out all the stops to have the stock trend upward for the next three weeks. On Nov 14, a billion shares are released to their owners. Some large fraction of these people will then sell.

Who would buy at this point? The answer to that is whoever has fund managers that roll under the Goldman Sachs pressure to buy this into your account. You have been warned.

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Anonymous Coward

Smug

I am so glad that I don't have a Facebook account.

See title.

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Anonymous Coward

Could it be that the throttling is because

writing everything in PHP and deploying 1.5 GB executables just doesn't scale as well as they though it would?

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Anonymous Coward

Hell hath no fury like a freetard scorned

Dear Zuck. For the last couple of years I've been in the arbitrage business. I setup a blog and advertised it for free on your wonderful Facebook system. Once I had a reasonable number of followers, I start accepting adds and the money rolled in, basically for nothing. Recently you have screwed my business model by charging me for something I expect to get for free. How dare you. In a stroke you've ruined my cash flow and I may be forced to find a job or produce something of value so I can buy food. I demand you allow me to use your services for free.

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Speaking of Zuckerberg

Is "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" Facebook's company anthem? It does express a degree of optimism that seems to go well the internet business models, venture investing, etc.

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Big Brother

OK I admit it, I use FB.

Although everyone loves to dump on FB, it does have its uses*. There are friends and companies I genuinely want to get updates from. There are hobbies and interests I have that I want to learn more about. FB used to be good for this.

However I now notice that I don't get all the updates from everything that I have tagged- if I go to that feed's FB page, I am starting to see that only some of their posts have made it through to me. FB is starting to lose its attraction, but what's the alternative? G+ is a ghost town as far as I'm concerned.

* And I'm aware that I am grist for the mill. I don't post anything I don't mind being in the public domain.

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Pint

Re: OK I admit it, I use FB.

Take a couple of screen shots and forward them to FB asking if there's a problem...and if you get an answer post it here. I'm sure it would be an interesting read.

If my freinds stop getting photo-tagged by my other friends in the bar's pictures, they may actually have to interact with each other sans-alcohol.

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Meh

This was entirely predictable.

Nuff Sed.

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Mushroom

Long path of bankruptcy

I see the long path of bankruptcy for Facebook. It is going to take few years. But it is going to happen.

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