Or is it Time to Move to Greener Pastures?
Facebook has had a bit of a rough year.
The Facebook Papers first released by The Wall Street Journal (and recently made public by Gizmodo) revealed a company crippled by its own success. An organization that had become far too bloated, struggling under a management structure completely unsuited for its size. A business defined by questionable business ethics and poor technology management.
Just a day after The Facebook Papers were released, the social network suffered one of its worst outages in history, which CNBC reported may have cost upwards of $100 million.
Prior to both of these incidents, Facebook has experienced a history of boycotts, privacy flubs, and controversies. The worst of these was arguably Cambridge Analytica, detailed in this report from Vox. In the wake of this cornucopia of problems, the general sentiment around the platform for business users and regular consumers alike seems best summarized by the following statement:
“I have no idea why I’m still here.”
“Through all these stories, we’re fundamentally ignoring a basic tenet of why people aren’t using Facebook anymore,” Forbes contributor Paul Tassi wrote in 2019. “It’s just a very, very exhausting and irritating platform to consume and utilize…The entire site needs a massive overhaul, but if it hasn’t happened now, I’m not sure it ever will.”
Tassi’s article may be written from a consumer perspective, but it could just as easily apply to advertising. Although the social network makes a big deal of the power and flexibility of its suite of business tools, they are just as cumbersome and frustrating as the core site. Especially if you try to leverage Facebook ads.
The business suite epitomizes feature bloat, its interface so crowded and clogged with information that one’s eyes glaze over simply looking upon it. The algorithm that determines whether or not an ad is acceptable is, per The Verge, just as broken as Facebook’s much-reviled community standards algorithm. Whether or not it accepts or rejects an ad is seemingly arbitrary — a toss of the dice that has led to a noticeable decline in ad quality over the past two years.
So in light of all this, why are businesses still using Facebook?
Unfortunately, because it still works (at least for now). Even though younger audiences are largely abandoning the platform, Statista reports that as of Q2 2021, there are still approximately 2.91 billion active monthly users. In other words, for now, your best bet may be to keep using it, despite all the frustration.
At least until a replacement comes along and supplants it. Hey, it happened with Myspace.