Veritasium is an educational science channel on YouTube created by Derek Muller. Facebook’s revenue is based on fake likes. This problem concerns everyone who uses facebook, especially those who try to promote something on facebook.
Published on Feb 10, 2014
Evidence Facebook’s revenue is based on fake likes.
My first vid on the problem with Facebook: http://bit.ly/1dXudqY
I know first-hand that Facebook’s advertising model is deeply flawed. When I paid to promote my page I gained 80,000 followers in developing countries who didn’t care about Veritasium (but I wasn’t aware of this at the time). They drove my reach and engagement numbers down, basically rendering the page useless. I am not the only one who has experienced this. Rory Cellan-Jones had the same luck with Virtual Bagel:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-…
The US Department of State spent $630,000 to acquire 2 million page likes and then realized only 2% were engaged.http://wapo.st/1glcyZo
I thought I would demonstrate that the same thing is still happening now by creating Virtual Cat (http://www.facebook.com/MyVirtualCat). I was surprised to discover something worse – false likes are coming from everywhere, including Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. So even those carefully targeting their campaigns are likely being duped into spending real money on fake followers. Then when they try to reach their followers they have to pay again.
And it’s possible to be a victim of fake likes without even advertising. Pages that end up on Facebook’s “International Suggested Pages” are also easy targets for click-farms seeking to diversify their likes. http://tnw.co/NsflrC
Thanks to Henry, Grey, and Nessy for feedback on earlier drafts of this video.
The Problem With Facebook
Published on Jan 14, 2014
WATCH THE FOLLOW-UP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHe…
The problem is much worse than I originally thought.
Share this on Facebook 😉
Facebook is a complex ecosystem of individuals, creators, brands and advertisers, but I don’t think it serves any of these groups particularly well because its top priority is to make money. Now, I don’t think making money is a bad thing, in fact I hope to make some myself. The problem is the only way Facebook has found to make money is by treating all entities on the site as advertisers and charging them to share their content.
This business plan backfires because 1) not all entities ARE advertisers and 2) it was the content from these people, specifically friends, family, and creators that made the site worth visiting in the first place. Now the incentives are misaligned:
– individuals want to see great content, but they are now seeing more paid content and organically shared content which appeals to the lowest common denominator (babies, weddings, and banal memes)
– creators want to reach fans but their posts are being throttled to force them to pay to be seen
– brands and advertisers have to pay once to advertise their page on Facebook, and then pay again to reach the people who have already liked their page. Plus Facebook is not a place where people generally go to buy things.
Facebook stands in contrast to other social media like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram where all content is shared with all followers.