I was thinking, heh, maybe my friends have just gotten lazy. But no, it’s Facebook itself that’s messed up, potentially on purpose.
For those who showed up late to this marketing party like I did, Facebook is attempting to boost their revenue by offering people the option to pay a fee to “promote” their posts. Unless you tweak your settings or subscribe to get every single update, you won’t see every single post that all of your friends make. So if you REALLY want everyone to see a particular post, then Facebook will do you a favor and insert your post at the top of folks’ news feeds–if you give them $7. And that price is only good for folks who have 5,000 connections or fewer. For more successful individuals, that price is much steeper.
I can’t really blame Facebook for trying to monetize access to newsfeeds. They need to earn revenue somehow if they’re going to continue offering free profiles. But their eagerness to filter content for users not only has a Big-Brother feel to it, it’s also the same flavor of favoritism that gets the net neutrality folks all fired up.
Twitter and Google Plus got it right by putting the filter into the hands of users. If you’re following so many people on Twitter that your feed has become a blur on the screen, then it’s up to you to organize it and make it more manageable. As a result, Twitter feels more democratic than Facebook, an aspect that is very often rewarded on the Internet.
Don’t count Facebook out yet. They’re still relevant because of their huge number of users–for now. Content providers will cater to Facebook as long as the majority of users remain loyal to it.
As for this content provider, I’ll still be on Facebook, but I also signed up for Google+ this week.