Social Media: the end of free ain’t that bad

Social Media: the end of free ain’t that bad

We all want something for nothing. And on the internet we’ve been used to getting it. Facebook is about to change all that, in fact they’ve already started, in case you haven’t noticed. That company page of yours with its 1,000 likes? Guess what, you only reach 150 of them with any given post. And watch that soon become 100 … 50 … and finally ‘facebook zero’, as Shenda Loughnane of iProspect was telling us this month at the eircom Spider Workshop.

Organic reach is being chipped away all the time. The days of being able to communicate free of charge with that community you sweated blood building up (mostly through irrelevant competitions, remember?) are numbered.

Sounds terrible, but when the sense of indignation subsides, what will it mean? An end to a whole lot of inane messages, I am hoping. Companies will surely think first before wasting their spend informing me it’s Friday or encouraging me to Keep Calm for some reason. God, they might even develop a content strategy. Nothing like a bill to focus the mind.

Sorry to say it, but I quite fancy the thought that those fiends at facebook might extend their mercenary drive to personal pages too, because here the inanity is at its peak. “I’m at such and such airport” or “can’t wait till the weekend.” Call me callous, but anything that might put a stop to such dross is welcome.

It will, of course, be interesting to see how facebook survives such a fundamental transformation. As the online newspaper business has taught us, it’s hard to wean people off free. Will the change usher in more pay models, or will facebook simply be usurped by the next no-cost alternative?