The Facebook Apocalypse: Step Back from the Ledge

How I learned to stop worrying about the latest algorithm change by Facebook, and come to love the Newsfeed.

The Facebook Apocalypse: Step Back from the Ledge
Ever since Facebook unveiled a new mission statement last summer, “Bring the world closer together,” Facebook has had many of us so-called experts confused and nervous as things change behind the scenes.
The Facebook Apocalypse: Step Back from the Ledge
Ever since Facebook unveiled a new mission statement last summer, “Bring the world closer together,” Facebook has had many of us so-called experts confused and nervous as things change behind the scenes.

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When marketers get scared, at least we have the decency to give cool, fun names to describe our fears.

To the experts, the sky is falling.

“The Facebook Apocalypse.”

“Facebook Zero.”

“The Social Media Collapse of 2018.”

Beyond these frightening headlines, what is truly going on, and is it really that bad?

The Panic and the Hype

Late Thursday night on Jan. 11, Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent a terrifying shiver down the back of every social media marketing expert. His announcement, in summary, said that Facebook has lost its way in connecting people. “…Posts from businesses, brands and media—(are) crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” To combat this, Facebook is preparing a massive change, aiming to tweak what appears in one’s Newsfeed.

In the scariest, most frightening, and quotable portion of the message, Zuckerberg states, “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

Wait…

Did he just say people would be seeing even fewer posts from my page?!? According to Facebook’s own admission, less than 16 percent of my audience is seeing posts from my page now (and according to third-party analysis, it’s actually less than 7 percent).

To the experts, the sky is falling. Ever since unveiling a new mission statement last summer, “Bring the world closer together,” Facebook has had many of us so-called experts confused and nervous as things change behind the scenes. Our Insights fluctuate up and down, and down again, like never before.

If last summer’s change was a hole in the dam, last week’s news looked to be the dam bursting and the town flooding.

Rather than being coy about the coming changes, they just straight up said organic reach is going down, the need to pay is going up, and people will be spending less time on Facebook.

The news was so terrifying, reports over the weekend said it cost Mark Zuckerberg $3.3 billion as nervous investors ran screaming.

The Reality

As I said in my presentation at the WFX Conference & Expo in Dallas last October, “Feeding the Robot: Unlocking the Facebook Algorithm for Fun and Profit,” Facebook presents itself as an unfiltered group of people. They are just a group of your friends having a chat.

In this latest announcement last week by Facebook, however, they more transparently say what they are: An edited, curated stream of content; not too different from a magazine or entertainment website.

Just like those magazines and sites have editors, Facebook has its Newsfeed algorithm.


More About Adrian Gates
Adrian Gates is the Media Director for Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. In his 16 years as a media professional, Adrian has served many different roles, including music producer, web master, videographer, consultant, social media “expert,” sound guy, lighting guy, stage hand, and roadie. His clients have included some of the largest tech companies in the world, New England churches looking to modernize, and dedicated weekend warriors. Adrian is a graduate of the New England Institute of Art and Communications.
Get in Touch: mediaservices@crossroadsconnects.com    More by Adrian Gates

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Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.


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