Most people suspect there’s something not quite right about social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, but they can’t put their finger on what it is.
That’s why you’ve always seen a lot of new social media platforms springing up, each trying to offer their own point of differentiation to the traditional platforms.
Years ago, all the rage was Snapchat. They believed the problem with Facebook and Twitter was the way that content stayed there forever. Snapchat was different because each post to Snapchat would self-destruct after a short time being published.
But, most of these new social media platforms end up self-destructing too.
You certainly don’t hear much about Snapchat anymore, and Parler has perhaps self-destructed in an even more spectacular way.
Parler believed the problem with Facebook and Twitter was that they throttle free speech by removing unpopular content. Parler was different because it promised to be a platform that would not remove anyone’s content.
Ironically, Parler itself has now been removed by Amazon, Apple and Google.
That doesn’t mean that Facebook and Twitter are laughing. The free speech concept that defined Parler is an extremely uncomfortable line to tread for the other social media platforms.
If I host a website myself, I have total freedom over what I choose to publish there. I can ask you to contribute some of the content, but I can always say no to your content if I don’t think it will help me make money from my website.
Facebook is no different. They CAN choose to say no to anything at all, and sometimes they have good reason to.
Think of the video of the New Zealand massacre. Facebook practically has no choice other than to take down content like this. If they didn’t, not only would it make Facebook extremely unpopular with the public, but it basically invites Facebook’s worst enemy. The R-word.
If Facebook voluntarily takes down the worst of the worst content, the urgency for governments to regulate Facebook is slightly dampened. That’s, of course, what Facebook wants. Regulation is likely to cause big damage to Facebook’s bottom line.
But, there is potential for small damage too. If my content is drop-dead boring, and it makes my followers want to switch off from Facebook, then it represents an opportunity cost for Facebook. If Facebook replaces my content with someone else’s more engaging content, people will stay longer and more ads will get clicked.
Not all content is equal. Some content is very valuable to Facebook, while other content is an opportunity cost or even a liability. And, they are always going to prioritise the more valuable kind in their algorithms.
But, they don’t want it to LOOK that way. They want it to look like all content is welcome. That Facebook is a place for “free speech.”
Why? Because the more they prove they are NOT a place of “free speech,” the more people will start to switch on to the fact that Facebook is simply after the most valuable content that makes the most money.
And, if your content is valuable and has the potential to make money, doesn’t it make sense that you should get compensated for it?
Facebook doesn’t want people to think in this way. They don’t want to have to pay people for their content. That’s why they try to find a balance between “free speech” and editorial control, but the balance is becoming harder to find in the current climate.
Hopefully, one day Facebook will be cornered, and people like you and I will be able to make money by posting to Facebook.
In the meantime, there are smaller social media platforms that do pay you for whatever your content is worth. You can find out about them by joining The Online Economy and taking the 10-steps of training included within.
If you haven’t joined The Online Economy yet, go to: https://theonlineeconomy.com