We're free-marketeers, right? Prices allow scarce resources (eyeballs, users are the product, remember?) to be rationed in an efficient manner. Would he prefer some nameless, faceless bureaucracy determine who gets to see his messages?
This is a commons problem on some level. Very similar to the issue with push notifications written about elsewhere. Too many companies used Facebook as a way to get around email spam filters, and now everyone (good actors included) is suffering.
Cry me a river.
What if Twitter implemented something like this where certain tweets from a person you are following do not appear? How would that feel?
This strikes me totally as a money play and not for the user.
But are you sure users actually wanted that information? I strongly believe this assumption is false.
If I "like" something, I want to express that I like it. I want my friends to know it. It's not a "subscribe" button, it's a "like" button, and contrary to what people in spam^H^H^H^Had business may believe, people actually attach meaning to what is written. It's not a #:G4202 button, it's a "like" button. If you call it "follow", you get a different meaning and different expectations.
> What if Twitter implemented something like this where certain tweets from a person you are following do not appear? How would that feel?
Twitter is not Facebook. Twitter is about following people. Facebook is about showing people (my friends) what I like (and not necessarily caring what it has to say).
I, for one, welcome these new changes and want to repeat by GP: good riddance!
Facebook has given too much power to the 'like' button. There should be a different 'follow' or 'subscribe' button. If you subscribe to a page, you would expect to always get updates from it.
I only subscribed to facebook to be able to watch some dev videos. As I slowly became more used to it, I wanted to know how to get updates from the company page I work for. When I asked how to do this and was told to 'like' the company, that made no sense to me. What if I don't actually "like" something, but I still want to watch its activity?
By this definition, brands won't tell people to "like" their pages anymore, they will just say "follow" them. FB blurred the links and now no one knows what "like" or "follow" will do.
I can follow a brand and still not get all the information from that brand. This is ridiculous.
Oh yes, please. I want to see the epic torrent of butthurt from "Brands" like Mark Cuban when that happens and they find that less than 10% of their "fans" are actually interested in their "messages" so their reach is far smaller than now.
For instance I sometimes see "sponsored links" of the form
"<sister-in-law's-name> likes <retail-outlet>, here is an offer that they have on at the moment" - I've never liked <retail-outlet> on facebook let along done that and subscribed to see absolutely all posts from them.
BTW. it's my anecdote vs. your anecdote; I wonder if there are any studies on the topic of how people perceive likes.
> The right price is to charge an upfront fee for brands. In the current system there is complete uncertainty on the cost. And even worse, at least for our size brands, you have to deal with the pricing for each posting, which is a time waster."
> "I'm just suggesting that a single upfront fee or a monthly fee where there is certainty of cost would allow brands to focus on bringing in consumers to like the brands knowing that they can always reach everyone that likes them. I don't know what that number should be."
He's voting with his feet - like any of us would tell others to do - and saying without more sane pricing, he's looking elsewhere. Good riddance is a bad strategy for long term customer growth, methinks... but I'm not a business person.
As arron said, the relation between you and the brand can and should be moderated by you. Furthermore, just because a monetary transaction is involved doesn't mean it's a free market at all. Facebook is the faceless bureaucracy you rant against when it's trying to gate brand communications like this.
And no, it isn't a straw man. Users suck at moderating and curating. If curating a Facebook presence becomes a great deal of work, users won't do it and will just stop using the service.
Some of the comments above also make the point that "Like" is terrible UX, it doesn't communicate what it should.
The sense of entitlement is overwhelming.
This is simply a weak excuse given by Facebook to charge brands, which they have every right to do. But to say their motivation is to stop spam is simply dubious.
Facebook is following the same game plan Google has used: give away free traffic at incredible volume, then start charging for it.
I believe Facebook's mistake is that they should have some sort of transparency in regards to why they are charging what they are charging. In Google's case, what you are charged is based on what your competitors say its worth (ok, not really but that is Google's story and pretty much everyone believes it.) From what I see, Facebook is just throwing out a number which page owners see as extortion.
"I want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head"
"The skeffington 19 bluepoint appreciation society"
User content not brand content. The latest changes might push facebook back in that direction and I wouldn't be sorry. I don't see it making them a lot of money though.
Now he's having to pay extra to make sure I get updates?
There are other systems out there that we can use to maintain the "interested party" connection, e.g., twitter, email, rss feeds, g+, $your_system_here.
We'll see them on the website soon enough.