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Facebook in 2017

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written about Facebook, so wanted to touch on my thoughts on the platform in 2017 as I see it.

John Battelle recently wrote a piece worth reading. You can do that here.

I envy those who avoid Facebook. Why? Because FB does such a masterful job wasting my time.

Lately, I seem to be falling into the trap of Facebook addiction. Open it, expect something new/cool/relevant. Scroll. Be disappointed. Open it again 10 minutes later.

Why?

In truth, I don’t know. There’s honestly very, very little information in my personal “feed” that matters. Everything truly important from people I truly care about will end up reaching me via text message or the phone. News that matters, I hear about in person.

They are killing it when it comes to the time suck economy. I’m going to make a point to be more mindful of my Facebook time going forward.

Business Owners

As a business owner, not being on Facebook is a serious disadvantage. If you want to reach people, it’s no secret Facebook (and Google) are the two best places to do that. In a fragmenting world, their reach is undeniable.

Though I find little value personally, I do use Facebook for business purposes; most of that time being spent in Facebook groups. I have largely stopped posting anything on my personal wall, unless it’s to promote Horizon or 360modern. Turns out, I’m not alone in my retreat from personal use. Fred Wilson mentioned in a recent interview he did that executives in the USV portfolio are no longer consuming social media. They simply use it as a broadcast platform to talk about their own company.

If that’s the case, that’s a very very bad sign for Facebook. It’s no secret people don’t want to consume media if all they see are marketing messages. That just as true with television as with social media. If all that’s being posted is self promotional tidbits, it’s only a matter of time before consumption/attention dips considerably.

The Potential Downfall of Facebook

I wrote a post 4+ years ago talking about how Facebook could fall. I still believe that to be true. There are very very real privacy issues that a very large percentage of the population has with Facebook. I know that to be true from my product Horizon being a Facebook only login system (I think we lose 30% of people instantly from that). The European Union is coming down on Facebook on the privacy issue.

The bigger and more entrenched Facebook becomes, the bigger the privacy issues are going to become.

Conclusion

Facebook is more entrenched than ever in our lives. They are minting money. Their daily consumer reach is unsurpassed (especially if you consider Instagram and WhatsApp). But they are not without strategic threats looming at every turn.

Enough of my rambling. So, to Facebook or not to Facebook?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Facebook has been very important in my life.

    My hobby is Windsurfing, and I have been fascinated by Facebook videos of Windfoiling and SUP foiling have purchased some Windfoiling equipment myself, so this was a huge change in my life from Facebook.

    I do not post on my personal timeline, but I do use it for posting on my business page and for advertising to let others know about my website.

    I also enjoy dialog in specific groups for both my hobby and as a Realtor.

    I also get some news in my timeline for sources I like, so for me Facebook is a big part of my life even though I do not post.

    I had to trim a lot of things from my news feed to get down to the things that are most important to me and I continue to trim even today to keep things interesting.

    I believe my posts about my Board of Realtors trying to limit what I could show to the public on my website saved me from having to remove data. The outcry from the public was so loud and generated so many letters and Facebook comments that the Board reversed their decision and let me continue doing business as usual.

    I also was able to bring about some critical changes to our status options which started with my calling them to everyone’s attention on Facebook.

    So I think you have to find your niche on Facebook. While I do not post on my personal timeline, I still find tremendous value on Facebook.

  • Nice post Drew

  • Drew,

    Great stuff here. I’ve been an long time reader. I can’t agree with you more on the “little value” I find personally from FB. Unfortunately it crosses over from our personal to business lives especially as we do business with the younger generation.

    However, when it comes to business there’s no doubt that you need a presence. I promote events, shoe progress on homes and essentially sell by teaching through my content articles. One thing I do not do is have links to FB from my sites. My thoughts are as soon as they click it they’re gone.

    We can use FB to bring them in but we want them to stay, not leave.

    • Yea, there’s little value to sending traffic from your website to FB. I’m still amazed it’s basically the industry norm to do exactly that. I guess the real is a way to deepen engagement with your most passionate supporters… I have to admit, for projects I really really like — I do click through to fb and like their page occasionally. But I wouldn’t do that for a real estate agent… that’s for social enterprise / non profits / brands / startups that peak my interest for some reason.

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