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It Feels Like Facebook Punted on Pages

I’ve had a Facebook Page for this blog, and my other blogs, for years. I, mostly, don’t even bother with them beyond auto-posting new blog posts to those pages anymore because it became clear that the effort simply wasn’t worth it. As Facebook moved toward de-emphasizing pages in the newsfeed, the number of people who even saw posts on Facebook continued to just dwindle.

This blog has a small audience, so that wasn’t surprising, but my Child Abuse Survivor blog had a much larger audience and the deterioration of that page’s reach was quite severe.

To give you an example, that page has had over 5,000 followers for a long time. It has only grown to 5.2k in the last 2-3 years though. Because, really, how would people find it? In the last 90 days, the post with the highest reach shows a reach of 247 people. That’s less than five percent of the people who followed the page. That’s the best post. Most don’t even reach 50 people. That’s less than one percent. Oh, if I put in some effort, sharing the post to my personal profile, and maybe to a couple of groups, I can juice that number up to maybe 60-70, but that’s it. It’s really not worth any of that effort.

In fact, beyond the automated posts just to get them out there for anyone who might see them, I’ve put almost no effort into those pages in a long time. (I’m doing the same thing with Twitter/X now too, the posts are still going there, but I’m not spending any time there.)

So, when I saw that Facebook was going to start letting people create multiple profiles and that it was really targeted toward people with different interests, or small business owners and freelancers who wanted a Facebook presence for their work apart from their personal profile, I immediately thought, isn’t that what Pages were for? Isn’t that exactly what Pages were promoted as being, a place for the “brand” apart from your personal profile? And isn’t this just a tacit acknowledgment that, outside of huge corporate brands, Facebook broke Pages for everyone else?

More than that though, isn’t what happened with Pages just the precursor to what is happening to big social media in general?

Obviously, there has been a ton written already about the turd bowl that Twitter has turned into, but Facebook has become about as useless. Instagram isn’t far behind. Obviously, pages are pointless. Until this Spring I ran a Facebook group tied to that child abuse survivor page, but gave it up for the same reason. To remain a safe place I was approving each new post and each new member. When I began to realize that most new posts, whether a shared link to a blog post, or a question by a member, were being seen by 10 people, it just didn’t seem worth the effort. Why go and spend part of my day, every day, reviewing and approving posts that 9-10 people were ever going to see? Pointless.

Also, if you’ve spent much time just opening and scrolling Facebook on your mobile device you may have noticed the same thing I have. There’s a lot less stuff from people I actually am friends with or follow in my feed. Here’s an example –

My feed today as I pick up my iPhone:

  • Friend
  • Sponsored
  • Suggested for you
  • Friend
  • Sponsored
  • Friend
  • Group
  • Sponsored
  • Friend
  • Suggested for you
  • Sponsored
  • Friend
  • Friend
  • Sponsored
  • Friend
  • Group
  • Sponsored
  • Suggested for you
  • Friend
  • Followed profile

Those are the first 20 items in my feed. Only 11 are things I chose to follow. six are ads and three are “suggested” items that I mostly have no interest in. Notice also that of the 11 I asked Facebook to show me, 2 are from groups, 8 are from friends, and one is from a profile I follow. It’s worse if you look at the start of the feed. Five of the first 10 are not things I follow, three of the first five. None are from the pages I follow. Yes, I have liked and followed many pages over the years, but only a handful ever make it to my newsfeed, including the pages I own.

The feed then continues on like that, with the occasional appearance of “Reels you might like” or “Suggested Groups” thrown in, which is really just more advertising.

On my computer, I’m unlikely to ever look at the Facebook default newsfeed, looking instead at the Feeds for just friends, etc. but on mobile those can be difficult to get to, and seem to move often, making it even more difficult to do anything but the default feed. The feed has been overrun with things I didn’t ask for. Look at that percentage, it’s very close to 50% of the items in my feed that are not things I asked for. It would be like settling in to watch an hour-long TV episode and sitting through 27-28 minutes of commercials throughout.

Is it any wonder that Meta is moving toward the idea of a paid tier to remove the ads? Right now it’s based on forcing EU citizens to opt-in to tracking because Meta can’t track them without their permission, and make a lot less in advertising if they can’t personalize it, so the EU folks will have to pay to keep that right. It’s not hard to imagine them doing the same across the world, pay us, and you’ll get a feed without that 50% taken up with advertising.

It’s a really classic move, isn’t it? Create a problem and then offer to sell the solution to the problem that you create.

The real question is, how much longer do these social media companies continue to have enough of a user base to continue staying in business? I think we’re getting close to the end with Twitter/X. I am not sure that Facebook and Instagram won’t be following along eventually.

All that being said, I might try and create a second profile, just to see if anything changes. Maybe it’ll be a better experience. I doubt it, but until I see it I guess I can’t say for sure.

Have you created multiple profiles?

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