A lot has been written about Facebook moving away from being a social media platform to being an advertising medium.
Over the past few years, Facebook has steadily modified its algorithm to gradually shrink organic reach of posts on business pages down to a trickle, the last 2014 figures show the average post with around 2.6% reach. The goal of course is to coerce business into buying Facebook ads, something Facebook had not been very successful at in the past. Obviously the new approach is working since Facebook showed $12.47 Billions in revenue for 2014.
In an effort to sweeten the deal and make friend with advertisers Facebook quietly deployed a new feature collapsing and further hiding users’ comments at the bottom left of the business page where few users will find them and if they do find them, they will only see a few posts unless they click on a non descriptive icon that is if they know where to look for
As a result companies with a lot of negative comments will see their pages aseptized potentially misleading consumers. On the other hand, companies with a lot of good comments will end up with the short end of the stick
Facebook has been steadily moving away from the social model to a traditional advertising model, from a social approach to a traditional broadcast approach something social media users have been notoriously against. The question now is how will they react to Facebook’s steady move back to advertising.
One thing Facebook has going for itself is the massive 1.3B users, Facebook is at a point where they think it would be too difficult for users to adopt a new platform and get their friends to move with them.
Looking at the past few years and the inability from start-up networks to grab enough market share to be viable long term, they may be right and those that actually did ended up being bought out. I would not bet the house on it though, Facebook is walking a fine line and if they push the envelop too far they could very well alienating enough users and start an exodus.