Facebook started out as a great place for people to hang out and to connect. And it was free.
Then it went public. Already the beginning of the end was in sight, but the end has been creeping closer and closer ever since.
Several years ago, Facebook (and my publisher) began pushing people with profile pages to change up to a LIKE page. (Once called FAN pages.) You could merge all your friends from your profile page into a like page and were promised FAR BETTER coverage. More people would see it. (That was the fantasy at least. Many authors often LOST all their profile friends, and the process isn't much better several years down the line.)
A lot of authors fell for that and soon found that there were a lot of tradeoffs in having a like page. Your fans/friends could post, but those posts would be relegated to a sidebar where people HAVE to go to look at them. No more face-to-face communication.
And then Facebook came to promo Like pages. That is, pay for a $5 ad and MORE people will see your page. Only now it's turned out PAY US TO PROMOTE OR WE'LL RESTRICT those who liked your page from seeing you.
Since January I've started two new pages and have been intensely posting to see how I could get around that "pay-for-promo" (only the suggested payment per post is now THIRTY DOLLARS!!!). The thing is, who can afford that? Even big companies like General Motors have pulled back and stopped advertising on Facebook because they saw NO VALUE.
If I post a link on a page where I have more than 3000 Likes, I might get 500 views. On a page where I have 1200 likes, and even if I don't post a link, I might get 50+ views. Post a link and I'll get 20 or less views. They actually PUNISH you by posting a link to a blog, website, or anything that takes a Facebook member OFF the site. (Even when you post a link to another FB site, they still limit the views from people who already made the effort to like your page.)
So what am I going to do?
I'm not totoally giving up on FB. I do like to know what my friends are up to, but to see their posts, I have to go to their actual pages. How many of my readers will think to go to an author's page on a regular basis? I'm thinking not many. What can you do to keep seeing my posts (and those of the other LIKE pages you've favored)?
Rant over. You may now return to your daily grind. But if you want to know what your favorite authors, TV personalties, and musicians are up to, I hope you'll think about visiting their Like pages.