Facebook isn’t popular with my son’s age group.
There’s a reason for that. It’s not about them. He’s 16, limited purchasing power and all that. Older siblings, parents, and grandparents are populating the framework. At this age, there is more on Facebook for them to avoid than to draw them in.
Actually, Facebook really feels like that to me now also.
Facebook is awash with garbage. Fake news, social media marketing, and a culture that ignores the wisdom of the old saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.”
I know, it’s not just Facebook, that culture is everywhere comments are allowed on the Web. It’s not just Facebook. But…
Facebook is handcuffed by their own inability to creatively manage the situation and their own incentive to maximize their dollars on the framework. Here’s an obvious problem I have with Facebook:
I don’t want my friends’ likes and shares mixed in with their posts.
I want their posts – the ones they authored – to show up first.
I want to be able to segregate likes and shares into other views. I want considerably more tools to customize content.
But Facebook knows that if they give those to me, I’m going to make an effort to avoid every one of those stupid fake news and social media marketing efforts I see.
Facebook hasn’t been doing that for me, or for you. Facebook is much more like a television network than a software provider. They, after all, determine the VERY limited output options that determine what I see when I visit. When a friend likes a paid advertisers post, it dominates the feed. A post created by that same friend may never be seen by me, because it isn’t really in Facebook’s interest to prioritize it. But Facebook is determined that I will see the advertisers’ post.
And thus… Facebook has largely become a Crapfest. A Crapfest that will likely be replaced by alternatives.
What I hope for 2017 is that Facebook recognizes this potential fate, and does something about it. I think that something is offering a paid subscription option for Facebook, one that is not required but provides some premium tools for displaying content. This is not about prioritizing content by the content provider – this is about prioritizing it by the content recipient. I think that’s Facebook’s path out of this mess, and if they don’t get to it, they will eventually YAHOO their product.
Because Facebook, you’re beginning to feel like Yahoo!