What I Really Think About Facebook

Lets talk Facebook

First, I’m not recommending to any of my companies that we leave facebook. I am recommending that we de-emphasize pushing consumers or partners to like us on FB and focus on building up our followings across all existing social media platforms and to evaluate those that we feel can grow a material following. In the past we put FB first, twitter second. FB has been moved to the bottom of a longer list.

At the core of the issues I have with FB is how FB thinks about itself .

This is from their page on Newsfeed, Engagement and Promoted Posts : “In this way, we can keep news feed an engaging service where people come to get the information that is most interesting to them.” FB believes that their news feed is an engaging information source.    They seem to really, really want to make sure that you get the information that is most engaging to you. I honestly didn’t know this.

This has to be a good thing, right ? What could possibly be wrong with wanting to improve engagement ? What could possibly be wrong with optimizing their news and information feeds ? IMHO, everything.  Defining engagement by clicks, likes, shares, unlikes and reporting works for Google’s search engine, I don’t believe it works for a social network.

People go to Google Search with every intention of leaving it. They want to “engage, click and leave”.  On the exact opposite side of the spectrum, people go to FB with the expectation that it is very likely they will stay on FB for an extended period of time. In fact we spend more than 26 minutes per day on FB. As this study said, FB is an alternative to boredom. FB is far more like TV than it is Google Search

FB is what it is. Its a time waster. That’s not to say we don’t engage, we do. We click, share and comment because it’s mindless and easy.  But for some reason FB doesn’t seem to want to accept that it’s best purpose in life is as a huge time suck platform that we use to keep up with friends, interests and stuff.  I think that they are over thinking what their network is all about .

Being a time suck that people enjoy is a good thing. There is a comfort in turning on the TV and having it work without any thought required. It’s easy. It is the best  5 hour on average per day alternative to boredom.

There is a comfort in going on FB and seeing what pictures pop up from friends or from pages you have liked.  FB is not something you have to rush through. All those pictures and posts are not going anywhere. FB is easy. In particular it’s a great alternative to boredom when you are stuck somewhere and all you have is your phone.  Actually it’s  a life saver. Head down on FB beats the hell out of that awkward feeling that you may have to at least acknowledge and possibly talk to the person next to you. Put another way, IMHO, FB really risks screwing up something that is special in our lives as a time waster by thinking they have to make it more engaging and efficient.

Who really appreciates that some posts rise to the top of their newsfeed because some folks they used to work with and are still friends with shared a baby picture ? Not only do I not like it, I like even less the obligation I feel to like the picture so I don’t seem like some grump.

I dont want to know about where you are in Wizard of Oz (currently navigating Edgerank up my top stories feed). Our FB networks have grown so big and unfriending someone is so much more difficult than it should be, that we just don’t do it. Hence, our news feed is not so pure . The math may be efficient but the result is not.

So how does this relate to brands and sponsored post ?  In a perfect FB world every post enters the friends/like/subscriber’s timeline. If they log in and want to spend the time searching their timeline they see it, if not , not. FB users go on FB looking to kill time. Why not let them ?

From a brands perspective not having to try to fall within the parameters of the algorithm (Edgerank)  allows us to post fun things, tidbits, information, anything knowing that there is at least a chance those who have a connection with us can see it and knowing that we won’t reduce our chances of the algorithm showing our post.

We should know better than an algorithm what those who like us actually like. It may well be that it’s a passive relationship. Maybe they just want to see the scores at the end of every quarter in a Mavs game ? Maybe they want to know what show is playing right now on AXS TV ? No one expects them to like, comment or share any of this. It’s just an information source. And can i just say that its really weird when Mavs end of quarter scores show up out of order.  Thats how smart the algorithm is.

It’s not like pages have carte blanche to assault people with posts.  People know their own tolerance for what they consider to be spam better than any algorithm does.  It is incumbent upon the brand not to abuse the relationship and cause the person to unlike us.  Doesn’t FB realize that is far easier for a user to opt-out of a feed by unliking a brand/person/page that has done a poor job of communication than it is to mess with all the account settings or for them to try to tweak their algorithm all the time to try to guess what people want ?

Again, FB is over complicating a simple issue.  A user can govern his/her newsfeed far better by hitting unlike than an algorithm like EdgeRank ever can.

But this over-complication via algorithm and not knowing why people use their site (feel free to say right here that of course FB knows how people use their site better than I do. ) creates a financial problem for brands. By trying to be an incredibly efficient information delivery source, they confine our ability to organically reach most of our followers to using Sponsored Posts.  THey also significantly increase our costs because if we create a post that doesn’t engage our followers to the level the algorithm expects it to, it can impact our ability to be seen in the future. Talk about pressure.  Put up a post , but be sure that Edgerank doesn’t think it sucks.

Then of course there is the money. As many have written before me, sponsored posts can get expensive. If you post many times a day, that can get incredibly expensive.

So why would brands who cant afford the algorithmic presentation risk or the financial cost want to continue to drive their user interaction by investing in  FB if there are alternatives ?

FB’s has a couple of other serious issues that impact their desire to be a source for “information that is most interesting to them”. Because FB has become such a store of personal information, we have become very protective of our profiles.  I don’t know the percentage of individuals posts on FB that are available to the general public, but it can’t be very high. We show our posts and see the posts only of our extended network.  While that network may get you close to Kevin Bacon, it’s not going to let you use FB as a primary information source .

Why? Because you can’t gain the value of all those posts outside of your network. They are closed off to you. Yes you can search on Bing which actually does a good job of integrating your own social network, but it still doesn’t take you out to the rest of the social world and all the insights and information that it has to offer like Twitter , Tumblr and specialized sites do.  Some  of the best sources of current information are searches on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram (the irony), and of course relevant websites.

If you want to see what every one is saying about the election, you have to go outside of FB. So by default you are not going to use your newsfeed as a primary source of information. It’s more like the township newspaper .  You get the basic local stuff and updates , but it can’t be a comprehensive source.

The same applies to the real time social universe. There could be 120 people talking about a topic that they have not yet liked  or for which there has not been a topic yet created and you would have no way to know the conversation was going on or how to reach the people if you did. This is exactly why Twitter has trending topics that are becoming more and more granular by the day.

So back to sponsored posts and algorithms. I’m not against sponsored posts per se. I’m against sponsored posts being the primary, if not the only way to reach most of the people my companies have built a connection with on FB.

Take away EdgeRank so we all have a fair chance to reach those who like us with Sponsored Posts being a way to improve our odds, great. I’m all for it.  That is like any other medium.

I also think that FB is making a big mistake by trying to play games with their original mission of connecting the world.  FB is a fascinating destination that is an amazing alternative to boredom which excels in its SIMPLICITY.  One of the threats in any business is that you outsmart yourself. FB has to be careful of just that.



190 thoughts on “What I Really Think About Facebook










    Comment by Leon Pearson -

  2. Mark,

    Facebook is a time suck in the same way that the telephone, tv, movies and writting letters to friends can be time sucks. Fortunately for Facebook, wasting time on minimally productive tasks is a major part of the overwhelming majority of people’s lives.

    Comment by Orlando Roebuck -

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  4. Hello Mark,

    Here is to endless great times with the Dallas Mavs, blog maverick etc. I think I might finally have the guts to pitch you with an investment idea. Totally unrelated but my alma mater’s mascot was a shark aptly named Sharky so I’m not afraid of any sharks.
    By the way, are you feeling sufficiently philanthropic to donate some money to African tech projects? Honestly I could greatly use the help to advance the great work I’m doing and here is a link to my professional profile ;- http://www.linkedin.com/in/rassina

    Comment by Rassina (@rassina) -

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    Comment by Jonathan Beekman -

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  13. Agreed — “likes” has become another kind of fiat “currency” (bitcoins, maybe). I don’t have a lot of reason to segregate what I publish among different audiences — my own social world isn’t that complicated and why should it be?

    On another matter — saw Mag Pictures “Deadfall” tonight — in a good theater. Sharp looking thriller. We need more original movies like “Bubble”, Favorites of mine are “Old Joy: and “Judas Kiss” (2011). Would love to see MC in Shark Tank on a movie proposal!!!

    Comment by JBoushka (@JBoushka) -

  14. Hey Mark, Time for a new blog entry yet?

    Comment by Raymond Bailey -

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  16. Another small point…the longer a person stays on FB, the longer they train themselves to ignore the adverts on the side bar, In the ideal world a company would want to build some social fan base of the products and services they offer using a “like” page. This could work good for something like Coupon Mom and Restaurant.com but really won’t help you sell for example Trombones or drywall. So what we have is some exaggerated view that ALL companies must have some “social” aspect of themselves on FB to function in said real world. So FB creates some ranking system to market users to advertisers. Big Deal, Does anyone know of some success stories here?

    I have a book, a best seller in fact, listed on Amazon’s Top 10 100 automotive repair books. I sell a few 100 books a month, yet only have 7 reviews on Amazon, any 325 likes on my FB page. Over 12000 copies sold. This proves one thing to me. That people LIKE my book enough to buy it and really don’t care enough to LIKE it on FB! I would rather have that scenario than 12000 likes and 325 books sold. What do you think?

    Comment by philosofhe -

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  20. Another small point…the longer a person stays on FB, the longer they train themselves to ignore the adverts on the side bar, In the ideal world a company would want to build some social fan base of the products and services they offer using a “like” page. This could work good for something like Coupon Mom and Restaurant.com but really won’t help you sell for example Trombones or drywall. So what we have is some exaggerated view that ALL companies must have some “social” aspect of themselves on FB to function in said real world. So FB creates some ranking system to market users to advertisers. Big Deal, Does anyone know of some success stories here?

    I have a book, a best seller in fact, listed on Amazon’s Top 10 100 automotive repair books. I sell a few 100 books a month, yet only have 7 reviews on Amazon, any 325 likes on my FB page. Over 12000 copies sold. This proves one thing to me. That people LIKE my book enough to buy it and really don’t care enough to LIKE it on FB! I would rather have that scenario than 12000 likes and 325 books sold. What do you think?

    Comment by blaccard -

  21. @Mark, (off topic) You had a blog post in 2009 about helping entreprenuers and realize you are presented 100’s of ideas per day. I have a two year old company revenue 2011: $140,000.00 and revenue 2012: $2.500,000.00. We are breaking all kinds of records and have grown 2500%. Would love an opportunity to discuss my company with you.

    Comment by Scott Rogers -

  22. WOW…I have a simple thought. Maybe it’s too simple and just maybe I’m looking at it from some dumb perspective. I love FB, but as Mark says its a time sink. Somehow, somewhere, someone decided or ruled that the longer someone spends time engaged in doing something mindless , it has a direct correlation to selling ad space defined by that person’s mindless activity. The whole aspect about this sickens me. As big business focuses on virtual statistics defining potential sales and everyone jumps on board thinking this is a great idea, I’m sorry to say I just don’t get the concept. America has lost its ability to define where products are needed and for that matter build those products. Lets all click, waste time and watch our economy crumble.

    Comment by blaccard -

  23. So, maybe it comes down to this: A corporation gaming social media will always sound inauthentic, and will always, therefore, cheapen its brand. A corporation that is authentically social will inevitably enhance its brand. Being “social” in this sense always involves making positive contributions to (at least) its social cohort if not the larger community. True, there are programmatic algorithms that are quite dazzling in their composition and accomplishment, but none have the true, ageless, simple and profound beauty of etiquette, because all etiquette is based on self-effacement, not self-aggrandizement. There’s an algorithm for you, Mark.

    Comment by Vian Andrews -

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  25. I used to spend a significant amount of time on Facebook just as a time-waster. Not necessarily because I had the time to waste, but rather because I got absolutely sucked into all the drama, updates, events, photos, etc of the lives of my family & friends. Not too mention the fact that I loved being a fly on the wall and stalking the companies and brands that I loved to see what they’re up to next or what they’re talking about with their customers.

    With the new algorithm, I see jack-squat on my wall. When I used to see 100+ items an hour (like a real-time stream on Twitter) now I might see 5-10 things. Most of the people or things that I am looking for, end up being hidden since they don’t hit the correct algorithm to appear in my feed. Because of this, I find myself spending way less time on Facebook than I originally did a year ago.

    You’re right Mark. Let me control my feed. If someone or a brand becomes annoying or offensive, let me unfriend or unlike them instead of FB dictating that.

    Comment by Aaron Foster -

  26. Hi Mark, don’t know how else to get through to you but I just bought your book that says “$2.99” and its actually “$4.99” – I think your graphics guy should change the pricing. I paid actually $5.08 since I’m in Canada. Cheers, – William Tang

    Comment by William Tang -

  27. We have many business owners/clients who feel that Facebook is enough for their marketing efforts. Most of them don’t pay for the services FB offers either . Business owners really need to read this article and realize they are reaching a very small segment of their fans and customers by relying on Facebook exclusively.

    Comment by BloomRewards (@BloomRewards) -

  28. So how do you feel about Google+? You don’t have a “Google+” icon to post comments.

    Comment by Googlemissingthe Nextbigthing -

  29. I’d be honored if someone super successful like Mr. Cuban would answer the question below to help those under 30 and spread this new good cause website.
    Is there anyway to contact him directly?

    “What do you wish you knew before you turned 30 that can still be beneficial advice to those under 30 now?”

    Comment by Ask Someone Over 30 (@AskSome1Over30) -

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  32. Facebook feeds people. Same with Pinterest. That’s why people stay.

    Comment by nathanpetty -

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  35. Facebook is such an intrusion in the life of a literate people which is no less than a virus to a software/system..which can’t be healed/cured !!

    Comment by CACLUB (@caclub_in) -

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    Comment by Tarık Bulut (@RT_Cix) -

  37. The problem with FB is that it is quickly falling out of the cyber-elite. Mark Zuckerberg knew when he created it that the important thing is to be the cool new thing that everyone is talking about. In the evolution of social media, you are the cool new thing that everyone needs to get in on, then if you are lucky you become the standard that everyone keeps flocking to and becomes ubiquitous.

    FB has acheived this and done so briliantly, but now it is reaching the next step in the common evolution, which is stagnation. Everyone is using it, it’s not the cool thing anymore. Tumblr, Twitter & currently smaller networks are far out-pacing it in where the taste-makers of the internet (those of us who live our lives on the internet) are spending their time.

    As Twitter continues to evolve, I find much more of my information from the people I follow on there who, like myself, barely check their FB accounts anymore. The change that you have found in the strategy of FB is what they are doing to try to stay in the elite and not go the way of Myspace and countless other social media networks before it.

    Unfortunately, FB is failing at this goal (at least with consumers like myself). You will still gain some benefits with the older, slower crowd by keeping up with FB, but the returns are diminishing at an alarming rate and, I believe, will continue to do so. The key is to keep a prescence on the standard (currently FB), but always continue to follow the taste-makers and get to the new networks to establish a prescence before other companies are able to do so.

    The celebrities who came on during the advent of Twitter and established their prescence are the ones now hugely reaping the rewards with so many followers knowing about their current projects and using guerrila marketing techniques to continue their social media dominance. They are also the ones who settling for just Twitter and continue to extend themselves to the newest media out there.

    Comment by Patrick Hunt -

  38. Don’t know where to go with this comment. Don’t even know if the “Shark” himself will see it, but here is the question: When will the owners of the leagues teams put in place a restriction that the Commissioner of Basketball cannot dictate roster decisions? Just asking.

    Comment by Frank Chavez -

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  40. Very interesting perspective. Lots to think about. Unfortunately since Google rank is tied so closely to social media, it’s hard to move on from FB.

    Comment by Joel and Amber -

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  43. HI Mark,

    My wife and I watch Shark Tank and love it. She is a finance major with 3.8 GPA. She was laid off, went back to school, and has not received a B yet. Needless to say we went from an expectation of a loving blue collar life to an expectation of an altruistic white collar life that will be coming soon.

    Right now I am interested in what David Axelrod is doing . Although I have voted conservative for my most of my life, this past campaign I jumped ship for the first time to the Obama campaign.

    This is because I believe we need to think globally in a global economy, and I just know you agree with that.

    Axelrod’s daughter has Epilepsy. He has agreed to shave his famous mustache if he is able to raise a million dolllars for the Epilepsy Foundation.

    Here is the link. I thought you would be impressed. He has 24 hours left.


    Comment by phaerisee -

  44. Facebook is a tool used so world wide that it is hard to stop using. It provides a service that on an individual level it isn’t a huge deal but on the business side yes it is so annoying hearing ads and saying like our facebook page. Taking a new approach would help and possibly bring new opportunities to FB. On the website Mavsfamily.com I have steered away from Facebook not because it isn’t effective but simply because it can be used in other methods.


    Comment by granttoday -

  45. If this entry proves anything, it proves that really wealthy, successful people like the author have an ability to analyze things in a way that most of us can’t or won’t. I am of higher than average intelligence—-but reading this turned some lights on in my mind—-things I already knew by instinct but hadn’t intellectualized. Mark—-your point about keeping Facebook simple—-why don’t THEY understand that? Why don’t THEY get it? They’re successful too—-but seem to be working against themselves these days. As usual, you cut through the crap and laid out a very well reasoned discussion. Now, if you give me about five minutes, I can do the same in convincing you to make a move to purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates. That would be a win-win-win if ever there’s been one.

    Comment by dcangelo -

  46. The network without a doubt has expanded to be too large. Kind of how email at one point only contained messages I wanted to read. It seem’s like the “new” newsfeed algorithm is nothing more than a SPAM filter.

    Comment by mschwartz76 -

  47. Hi Mark, is there an e-mail address where I can send you a business proposal? It involves cookies and Europe! 🙂 Thanks, Chris.

    Comment by Chris Marks -

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  51. The problem in a nutshell: A page post that says “Click Like if you love puppies” or “Comment below if you hate Mondays!” will get more engagement than an smart, interesting, intelligent (and content-relevant) post, and that post will be rated as high engagement by EdgeRank.

    Comment by MPH (@PhillyPartTwo) -

  52. Looking for an investor for a law enforcement and military supply company. http://www.georgiatacticalsupply.com, you have said that you must love what you do and have a passion. Well, I love being a police officer and I love firearms and I’m pretty damn good at sales. Just looking for capital to create a more kick ass website and inventory a small store front and hopefully gain enough capital to obtain my Federal Firearms license to manufacturer my own line of AR 15’s and continue to support the second admendment.
    email: webmaster@georgiatacticalsupply.com

    Comment by Jeffrey Ashley -

  53. These blogs and articles are so informative especially when they are something you care about so deeply. The Cuban speaks of his team and we love it. Great job on keeping the passion in the Dallas Life.

    From what I see these ideas and places need to be communicated off a blog and with a more family oriented platform. Why do we get up and come to this page and read a bunch of cyber data. Make these things fun and outgoing with a hint of passionate love!


    Any comments?

    Comment by granttoday -

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  56. Once upon a time a great team graced the WNBA. Then things fell apart and it disappeared. It was called the Huston Comets. You have the capacity to revive it. You could even relocate it to Dallas. Starting next season.
    Please think about it.

    Comment by Stefany Karen -

  57. Now that FB has completed Beta testing, the real market is wide open for all that have yet to experience it. Their true breakout came when grandmas started using FB. I would love to see the graph of the avg. age of a FB user over time.

    When grandson is afraid to add grandma as a friend, he gets a new handle or finds another medium.

    Comment by Savannah Trades (@SavannahTrades) -

  58. Facebook is becoming just another Lowest Common Denominator medium. Want to reach the masses? Short, simple milestone. Don’t be too smart or you’ll get no engagement. I think the people who are having the darndest time figuring out Facebook are the ones who think for a living. Oil and water.

    Comment by Michael Neuendorff (@buildandbalance) -

  59. All I can say is NAIL ON Marc! Will FB wake up? Who knows. I DO know this, their investors want them to make money & if Brand Pages don’t feel like they’re reaching their audiences like they should (as has been discussed at length in this thread), without having to PROMOTE their info to their own fans, then they will focus on other outlets (G+, Twitter, etc,), or simply take their business elsewhere! I was highly disappointed when they stopped allowing Page owners to control their own DEFAULT LANDING PAGE. They should have left that reserved for Pages. Now Pages & Profiles are so much alike, that many are doing away with one or the other.

    Comment by Beau-Jeffrey Gaudina -

  60. This is a lie – Facebook is full of sh*t…

    “What this means for businesses is that monitoring what types of posts are getting good responses is key, and always has been. Use Page Insights to determine what types of content – videos, posts, questions, etc. – are getting good engagement versus what types aren’t.”

    Facebook actively filters your content based on what you post. Here’s an experiment showing how the same type of post received drastically different reach results based soley on the way it was added to facebook…


    Comment by Raquel Elle Bell -

  61. Excellent post, Mark. Please consider helping support me in getting Edgerank made an option on my Facebook page and promote my petition. https://www.facebook.com/MakeEdgerankAnOption

    Comment by Hugh Briss -

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  64. Mark, I truly appreciate every single post you put on this and you are part of a small handful of individuals who speak honestly and it is well received due to your genuine nature. I would like to hear your thoughts on Crowdfunding and the upcoming Jan 1 target for SEC to bless the vehicle. Happy Thanksgiving and godspeed in everything you do!

    Comment by rewiz77 -

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  66. I disagree that it’s “better than boredom.” Boredom’s good for you. Teaches patience and, if you notice it, mindfulness.

    Comment by John Navin (@JPNavin) -

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  70. WOW!!!!! Best post I’ve read in a long time. Agree with EVERYTHING 100%. Mark Cuban, you should consider LinkedIn too. I know it’s not as entertainment focused bu you can market to a more affluent population on LinkedIn (185+ million professionals, average household income 86K, 93% more likely to be college graduates) and no screwy algorithms to hide your posts.

    Comment by Shadi Bucklin (@shadibucklin) -

  71. Facebook is the devil. That is all.

    Comment by Colin (@mcgilcoli) -

  72. I could not agree more. And that’s as a user, not a page owner. And the dirty little secret is that EdgeRank gets it WRONG. The pages I want to see most I DON’T see. I go to their pages, and I see posts from the pages I engage with the most that I don’t see on my newsfeed. The two brand pages I want to see the most are in fact not in my newsfeed. Explain to me how that’s right, how EdgeRank is doing that correctly? How can I NOT have the option to hit a button that says “put everything from this page in my newsfeed”? Same with friends. So I don’t engage with a person a lot does NOT mean I don’t want to see their family photos or their updates. It’s total horsecrap.

    And you know what? Just because I want to see a person or a page’s post, and read the content, doesn’t mean I want to hit ‘like’ on every one. Hey, XX Brand posted that they gave a million dollars to the Red Cross. Do I HAVE to hit ‘like’ for Facebook to know that I wanted to read that that I wanted to see that? NO should be the answer, and it is not. Not ‘liking’ or commenting on or clicking a post does not equal not wanting to see it. I read things in the news feed, and I move on. I don’t have to like, comment, share, or click something a page posts to mean I care about the content it puts out. Reading is plenty. Cool post. I approve. I don’t have to like it to prove i’m interested.EdgeRank is BROKEN. And irrelevant for many of us anyway.

    I don’t need EdgeRank deciding what’s most engaging, even if they were right. I log on, and I (and 99% of my friends) scroll down and read until we get to the things I saw previously. That’s how it’s done. If I haven’t been on Facebook in 2 hours, I read down until I start to see posts I already saw from 2 hours ago. Most recent is most recent. The one Facebook PR guy that was like ‘I have 700 friends and like 1000 pages so I need filtering so I don’t get swamped’ or whatever… not all of us like 1000 pages. I like pages, and I want to see them. I have under 60 friends and like under 30 pages. Why can’t I see EVERY post in my newsfeed? Why is that not MY choice, unless it is about money, which Facebook claims it is not. Give users the option of seeing everything from every friend and every page. We’re adults; we can handle it. We can make the choice. And most likely, most people will still want it filtered and Facebook will still make their money just fine.. God I wish all of my friends were on Google+; if they were, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

    So, also as a page owner, bytheway, how about this: Hurricane Sandy really affected our office as it was happening and immediately afterwards. We posted important, and sometimes critical, updates about out status and our openings and closings. Facebook presented that critical information to only 16% of our fans. How is THAT algorithm helping anyone?

    Comment by MPH (@PhillyPartTwo) -

    • MPH, When Facebook evolves a little bit more, they may realize they need additional buttons besides the “like” button. Facebook may also realize that once they create additional buttons, some may need to be kept “invisible” because as the list of public buttons grows, it becomes easier to polarize people against each other.

      I would like to see a support button and a join button as well. Just because I join a conversation does not mean I like the group or support it. By keeping the like process simple for the facebook user, facebook is making it harder on the businesses and causes that the user may actually be interested in hearing from.

      Comment by dailypuma -

  73. Pingback: Cuban calls Facebook a waste of time | Sociallyst

  74. Thank you for saying this <> This is why i got off it 2 years ago, after suffering for 2 years listening to people tell me I had to do it, if for my business’ sake, and complying. Fact it, i lost business while on, due to the very time suck. Truly, have never been happier since off. Plus….I like supporting people whose business practices are in line with my standards and ethics. enuf said. Thanks, Cuban.

    Comment by eye2eye (@eye2eye2012) -

  75. It’s SAD but TRUE, brands with larger facebook Pages have a smaller reach in facebook eco system. Apparently big brands are getting almost two thirds less reach than the average Facebook user. The big question is Why would we invest resources in enlarging our Facebook community size if we have to pay for promoted post to reach them all the time? That’s insane.

    Back in the days, just few days before facebook IPO GM pulled out their $10,000,000 account from facebook advertising…. and people thought the CMO must be out of his mind….. Its now people are waking up for the fact and see facebook for what it is.

    ~ Emmanuel Amberber

    Comment by Emmanuel Amberber (@EmmanuelAmber) -

    • So one possible answer is to give facebook users more choices when it comes to how they “choose” to like a page, then bill annually the businesses based on how many “full access” likes they have. The modest fee per full access like per year then allows the page full posting access to a facebook users home page for the entire year.

      If a user unlikes a page they had allowed full access privileges to, that page owner gets charged a pro rated amounted based on quarters of a year or some type of variation.

      Comment by alexlogic -

  76. I think big percentage of likes are earned by marketers by gaming the user. That may be the biggest reason facebook introduced edgerank to improve the signal to noise ratio.

    Comment by Anuj Agarwal (@_anuj) -

  77. Reblogged this on What Would Sulare Do?.

    Comment by sularef -

  78. Pingback: Here is How Mark Cuban Can Beat the Facebook Sponsored Posts Game

  79. Pingback: Facebook decreases reach… grab your torch and pitchforks. | The Social Web at UWGB

  80. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make a REAL difference, in REAL life…www.iGovUs.com does- do more than just connect to friends and brands…connect to your community and your elected officials in government. Be a part of making the laws instead of just living with them. Thanks!! – Teresa Larsen, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer of the iGovUs Network. Contact me if you want to invest in a REAL game changer! I’ve already got one guy who used to work for you on my TEAM! TeresaLarsen@iGovUs.com

    Comment by iGovUS (@iGovUS) -

  81. Pingback: Mark Cuban thinks your life is one big insignificant waste of time

  82. For me Facebook is relevance for Public,but isn’t good for people underage

    Comment by desakputusumiati (@desaksumiati) -

  83. i just deactivated my account. i can’t waste anymore time on that website!

    Comment by shaina lavin madden (@shainaLmadden) -

  84. I was a Facebook fool up until now, and derided Google+ at the same time. Clamouring on the idea that Google+ was a ghost town, I let it be so. Then I started to user Google+. Now there are 200 users adding my account daily. The connection of “1 to infinity” is more entertaining than the connection of “1 to friends.”

    For that reason, investors should avoid Facebook.

    Comment by Chris Lau (@chrispycrunch) -

  85. Mark, you mostly have it right here but after looking at the data for so long based on what we do (I’m the CEO of mBLAST, full disclosure) I have a different slant on some of it.

    On Facebook there is a sort of social contract behind my “friends” and “likes”. I’m saying I have some sort of attachment to these entities and I’m more forgiving as I graze through my feed and think “oh that George, he’s on a roll about politics again”. On Twitter I “follow” someone and, in all likelihood, don’t personally know that person but think he or she might be interesting. As a result I’m not vested in the relationship at all in the same way. I see drivel there and I have a much quicker negative reaction to it just because of Twitter’s sheer volume and the 140 character limit. Each Social site has this sort of implicit “contract” about it. On Linked In it’s professional. On Facebook it’s personal. On Twitter it’s subject matter. The drivers are different and the behavior of people reflect the drivers. This reaction is, as you state, based on how I want to “waste my time” because I only have so much of it.

    So for Facebook the challenge is to come up with a way to monetize the implicit social drivers for the platform. I agree that promoted posts and tweaking the feed algorithm just feels wrong and isn’t likely to work. It’s seems to me like buying a megaphone at a cocktail party so everyone can hear me talking over them instead of allowing me to take part in conversations. Instead, in my opinion, Facebook should actually concentrate on something like what we do, and show businesses conversations in which they can get involved, allowing them to slipstream into conversations gently as an add-on for a fee based on what sorts of conversations they’re looking for. Almost the exact reverse of placing an ad on the site but using nearly the same mechanics. That feels more genuine and more a part of the social contract that Facebook is based on. And I know quite a bit about the effectiveness of this approach.

    I’m sure you and I could have a very interesting conversation about Twitter, but I’ll leave that for another time 😉

    Comment by Mark Hatch (@markbhatch) -

  86. Pingback: Daily News

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  88. Here’s my big problem with Facebook. Edgerank is a useless algorithm: my social graph and my relevance graph have minimal overlap. I could care less that so-and-so’s nephew (a minor acquaintance) likes Wal-Mart. That is neither relevant nor interesting to me. It’s interrupting noise that makes me irritated with Facebook, Wal-Mart and so-and-so’s nephew. The fact that Facebook is cluttering more of my feed with this irrelevant and uninteresting material — to satisfy shareholder lust for ad revenue — makes me (and probably many, many more) want to use Facebook less and less. There’s a tipping point of garbage. People can only put up with so much before finding another solution with less garbage. If Facebook’s not careful, it’ll make money at the expense of its users, advertisers and ultimately its future.

    Comment by alecmaki -

  89. Hey Mark, I was just thinking to myself how nice it would be if your comments were sorted by “likes” so I could see the best comments at the top. Then…I hesitated realizing this was the exact type of filtering you are against. I just tried to Edgerank your blog! My bad.

    Comment by Zac Headrick (@zacheadrick) -

  90. Pingback: Mark Cuban Strikes Again at Facebook - Socially Savvy!

  91. This is why we need http://www.Loveabrand.com a new world for brands

    Comment by Jenna Shaik -

  92. Pingback: GNC #818 Road Trip Show | GNC Show Notes

  93. Pingback: Mark Cuban: Facebook needs to accept that "its best purpose in life is as a huge time suck" | icesrvic

  94. Pingback: Mark Cuban Strikes Again at Facebook | My Web Marketing Planner Blog

  95. I agree with Mark. What bothers me is that I contribute to building the FB platform by integrating it tightly into my site, but then I get marginalized. Companies that doen’t respect their partners do poorly in the long run…

    Comment by Bill Keck -

  96. Pingback: Rihanna’s party plane, Mark Cuban hates Facebook, MC Hammer at the AMAs and more | ATX Post

  97. Dear Mr. Cuban, I am sorry that Facebook is a disappointment to you. I am one of the people who likes Facebook primarily for social and family communications. Perhaps it’s because I have adult children who are married with children and I enjoy their impromptu photos. I also have many nieces and nephews, many who live out of state I appreciate Facebook, because I can easily welcome their baby’s pictures, vacation photos and the big rack from the deer hunting trip. Without the ease of Facebook, I may never have seen their new house, new baby or their cute dog. I also have rousing political debates with my nephew, he lives 700 miles away, he’s a ferocious Republican and I’m not nearly as ferocious of a Democrat. We both enjoy pounding the keyboard to make our points. After I read your article, I realized I’ve not used Facebook to my financial benefit. I’m a direct sales consultant for Jafra cosmetics. I will check with the Jafra’s sales and communications department and find out what tools they have to help me build my Jafra business. I have considered buying Facebook stock. Like most people I couldn’t get into the IPO. I need to take time to analyze their earnings and PEG ratios etc… before I commit to stock purchases. Thank you Mr. Cuban for helping me realize I may have a business building tool at my fingertips via Facebook. I also hope for you, that someday you’ll have people you cherish so much that you’ll be thrilled to see their photos. Sincerely, Ann C. Dilley

    Comment by Ann Thelen Dilley -

  98. Hi, Mark. Agree whole heartedly. Have you looked at app.net? Turns the FB on its head. Virtually identical structure, but no advertisers . . .users pay. Resulting in developers focused on users needs. I am not associated w/ app.net. .. purely an observation on a strong platform.

    Matt DiGeronimo


    Comment by Matthew DiGeronimo (@MJDiGeronimo) -

  99. Pingback: SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 19, 2012

  100. Pingback: Mark Cuban on Facebook | Brent Logan

  101. Your Kidding! Facebook a way to kill time! Who would have ever thought it. I am a Realtor and if I am in the office and find myself looking at Facebook, I pack it up and gout out to the neighborhoods and pass out flyers door to door.

    Comment by Alan Selmanaj -

  102. Pingback: Mark Cuban Strikes Again at Facebook | Elexonic.com | Breaking News

  103. Pingback: Mark Cuban Calls Facebook a ‘Time Waster’ | My Blog

  104. Riveting commentary!. “Again, FB is over complicating a simple issue. A user can govern his/her newsfeed far better by hitting unlike than an algorithm like EdgeRank ever can.” – point made! Look forward to seeing you on Shark.

    Comment by Emerging Domains (@EmergingDomains) -

  105. Pingback: Link Journalism #4 (Feb Nights) | Class Notes

  106. I hate Facebook always have and always will. Too many former creeps from my life who I don’t want to interact with can locate you. It does nothing for business and is the least effective form of SoMe for branding

    Comment by Ask A Great Dad -

  107. Pingback: Counterparties: We know what the fiscal deal will look like | Felix Salmon

  108. Pingback: How To Make Facebook Better

  109. Pingback: How Facebook decides what you see in your News Feed | SiliconBeat

  110. Pingback: Trapped in social media's walled garden | Decoding the new economy

  111. I absolutely agree. The biggest problem I have observed with EdgeRank is that it cannot discern between a post’s engagement versus its relevance in a timely sense. Sure, I’m going to be stoked about some red, white and blue cake recipe on July 4th (or even the days before it) and I’ll probably like it, but I don’t need to keep seeing the very same Happy 4th of July message on July 6th. On the other side of that coin, I doubt I’m going to like a post from my favorite band saying the show has been canceled or a post from my team saying there’s a weather delay. However, I sure as sh!* want to see those posts as soon as they go live, why the heck else did I opt in as a fan? Let me decide what I want to see and not want to see on my own. Engagement ≠ relevance

    The very beauty of digital marketing is that you can relay any message to a large group of people almost instantly, and in many cases, at a very low cost. I used to always say, if you mess up a post, don’t worry no one will remember it in an hour. While on other networks that remains true, with this model on Facebook, posts that are no longer relevant stick around much longer than they should.

    Comment by Sara Robertson (@sajaro) -

  112. Pingback: Marketing Day: November 19, 2012

  113. rCommerce (relationship commerce) is emerging, if only FB would care too look. Not betting on them, is, IMHO, a big mistake.


    Comment by Jean-Jacques Dubray -

  114. Pingback: Will Brands Shift Focus Away From Facebook? | WebProNews

  115. Reblogged this on Imagine and commented:
    Fantastic post by Mark Cuban

    Comment by Michael Lis -

  116. Hey Mark –

    My feedback is coming from the Brand’s view. I own a social media firm that specializes in creating content for brands. So basically, we work as a 3rd party creating ‘engaging’ content and then posting this content for Brands on Facebook.

    What you outline in your post is something that we have seen dwindle in the last 4 months on Facebook. We use to be able to gain an average of 20 new likes (40 total) for a post on Facebook – with engaging content alone. Just as your post suggests these days are over. With the same types of content we are seeing 2-4 new likes and (6-8 total).

    I agree that this is because of Edgerank. It also has a lot to do with Facebook changing the business model on Brands / pay for likes / promotional posts. These methods were there all along, but I honestly felt that they have been pushed harder after the Facebook IPO.

    Telling your companies to stop advertising is a smart move, if a Brand page already has over 5,000 likes my suggestion would be the same thing. Make engagement on Facebook the priority not – to generate new likes.

    My problem isn’t with Edgerank nor the promotional posts. These are changing marketing parameters that companies need to be aware of. My beef is with Facebook for not explaining to Brands and Agencies the changes that they make on a daily and monthly basis. Facebook thinks that they know more than everyone (and I agree with you, that they take themselves way too seriously). In order to have a good relationship with the countless Brands that are on Facebook they need to start acting like a public company – and inform us about these changes.

    Comment by Michael Lis -

  117. Pingback: Mark Cuban Joins Critics of the Commercialization of Social Networks | Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing Guru

  118. Pingback: Sports Business Now Facebook fires back, Mark Cuban still not convinced

  119. Pingback: Facebook: The “huge time suck platform” – Chad Fullerton

  120. Pingback: Mark Cuban Joins Critics of the Commercialization of Social Networks - SocialTimes

  121. i think wordpress is really turning out to be the best social network its got the like buttons the share buttons and it mixes well with twitter and facebook i find it more fun than twitter and facebook combined and it googles well to

    Comment by squeezedwords -

  122. I’m trying to understand one of the core issues here. If I have a facebook business page and build up a significant amount of facebook likes, I am not able to contact all of my page “likes” without it costing me money?

    If that premise is correct, then I would suggest that when facebook users “like” a business or fan page, they be given the option to subscribe to that page and also select the manner in which that page can contact them in the future.

    Then this additional information is parsed to the page owner so they know what percentage of their likes want all of their news stories, promos, or offers, aka full activity.

    Then the next step would be for facebook to figure out if they want to charge per subscribed like that wants full activity, and what that charge should be per year.

    If someone likes my facebook business page and requests full activity, that might be worth a buck per subscriber per year to me, or maybe a penny, I don’t know what the figure would be, maybe nobody does if it has not been tried before.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  123. “FB is what it is. Its a time waster.” – Mark Cuban

    Love it, keep ’em coming!

    Comment by Lawson Whitesides III -

  124. Mark I couldn’t have said it better my self. Excellent article thank you!

    Comment by Mitchell Layzell (@MitchellLayzell) -

  125. Amen MC. Sponsored Links = SPAM in my book,. I don;t have many followers on my page, I am a very small business person and in no way can I afford to have my posts “sponsored” or “promoted.” But, I think my subscribers so decide what posts they want in their feed, not FB.

    Comment by Kristi Enigl -

  126. Pingback: Mark Cuban Spends 1,700 Words Reminding You Why Facebook Sucks | FrontBurner

  127. Pingback: On Target: Mark Cuban Gives His Insight on Facebook « Clearly Wrong

  128. Sorry dude but you’re behind on this one. Good luck getting sign-in’s. I will yield chest pushing on that – how about signed in users, with payment information saved?

    Comment by generalherald -

  129. Hi Mark…….your points are valid. I am in the process of launching a new site for high school student athletes and would like to see if you would have interest in partnering with us. Getting this core audience engaged is our mission. Please contact me: rick@studentathlete2day.com

    Comment by Rick Ehrlich -

  130. Facebook is an Internet kill switch. The open web is out here people!

    Comment by PJ Brunet (@wordpressprgmr) -

  131. When a company or site REQUIRES me to login or use FB for that site… I never come back. I do not have a FB account nor will I use them again. I have been “Facebook Clean” for over five months now.

    Comment by NeuroMan42 (@NeuroMan42) -

  132. I’ve always hated the notion of brands sending their customers to FB instead of their own sites, always drove me nuts!

    Comment by Paul Bliss (@SEMConsulting) -

  133. i see what you say about twitter for info searches even from a google search twitter seems to do well

    Comment by gracklehead (@gracklehead) -

  134. OH I get it; FB is something a big business like you can’t control so you don’t like it! Or get for that matter….. It’s where the people are Mark. regardless of the FB protocols, edge ranking or news feeds it WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE! If there were 10 billion people in a stadium that wanted to buy your products but the people who built the stadium and got the people there told you in order to engage with the people you had to walk backwards onto the stage and speak in klingon, you would tell them no thanks…. No! You’re smart enough you would be learning how to moonwalk and hiring the best klingon translator money could buy.

    Now personally I don’t like some the news feed features either but those are the game rules and we have to learn to play by them. I feel it’s reckless for someone with your following and financial means to tell people to not focus where the consumers are just because you are not getting the returns from it you desire. Social Media in general is the great equalizer and gives the small guy a fighting chance against corporate giants like you who can’t buy their way to the top.

    Your comparison between google and FB once again shows your lack of understanding in this arena that you are suggesting people put at the bottom of their lists. People go to google for direction, look for place and research. People go to facebook to get recommendations from people they know and trust. Completely different. referrals are something us common folk depend on to cut through and filter out some of the BS out there.

    Again I dont completely disagree with you but again these are the rules…. Game on!

    Comment by Scott Thomas (@realscott) -

  135. This post sounds a bit like whining, Mark. Facebook wasn’t originally designed for brands. It is the brands that seek to capitalize upon the success of Facebook’s social “time suck” platform that intrigues hundreds of millions of real people who enjoy the social circles that you complain about.

    Brands can benefit tremendously from facebook by knowing how to use the platform as a lead generator that can help build a community around the brand, not a “fan” base. Communities operate differently than fans. Just take a look at the fans that come to see the Mavs. They don’t automatically form a cohesive community. And they come for varying reasons, often dependent upon how well the team is performing.

    Brands can benefit from having fans. But they can benefit significantly from building communities around their brand. Pepsi did it (http://refresheverything.com) and others have followed. Facebook is a means to an end, not the end itself. And if a brand is dependent upon Facebook operates its business, that brand will be disproportionately impacted when Facebook makes a decision that adversely impacts the brand.

    Comment by Mike Green (@amikegreen2) -

  136. Excellent insight. I’m sure people will have problems with your opinion, but that’s life. In most cases, as it relates to THIS issue, people are offended because they’ve built their entire business, personal life and expectations on FB. FB is okay, but it’s certainly not a “cool app”, it’s a time waster. The MBAs at FB seem to think FB is more than a website, and it may be. But I’ll side with Mark’s analysis.

    Comment by Marc Charles -

  137. I’m totally on board with this post. It’s not that FB doesn’t have any value, because it does, but Edgerank makes posting confusing for brands and fans. From the brand perspective, very few companies realize that their posts don’t reach 100% of their fans. Even more so, they have no idea what makes the difference between reaching them and not. On the fan side, people don’t realize that their newsfeeds are filtered, as a general rule. This means that brands don’t get to reach the people they think they’re able to reach, and fans don’t hear from companies they want to hear from. I’ve personally liked a page before and then wondered why I NEVER see a single posting from them in my stream. Didn’t I sign up to keep in touch with them? Then why is someone else deciding whether or not I get to keep in touch? This lack of control is frustrating as a fan. I personally would rather unlike a page because their spamming me than to never see what they post. I mean, what’s the point of posting if people aren’t going to see what you’re writing? Yes, some people will spam if they gain 100% access to fans, but that also means that fans will be unliking more frequently creating an ecosystem where real fans are sticking with the brands that they really like (which for me would be the Mavericks). However, this would lead to less fans per brand than which isn’t good for Facebooks ego or image. In many ways, fan numbers are a vanity metric due to Edgerank.

    So what are brands to do? In my opinion, they should do what you’re doing, Mr. Cuban. They should find other ways to keep in touch with fans that give 100% control over the reach. Twitter, e-mail, and blogs are two ways to do this. Every blog post that gets sent out by e-mail reaches fans. This means that brands have more control over their communication and don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for every announcement. Who in their right mind wants to pay a ransom every time they want to reach all of their followers? I know that I don’t. Until Facebook opens things up, it’s smart for brands to find alternative ways to keep in touch with their people and not become overly reliant on the Facebook ecosystem. And if this happens, then Facebook will have no choice but to open their platform since brands will be voting with their dollars. This would be good for businesses, brands, and Facebook.

    Comment by Joseph Putnam (@JosephPutnam) -

  138. I appreciate all you have said here. I think that many have lost site of what Facebook really is and what it is evolving into. I for one do not see it a a place to be bombarded with advertising. I see it for what it should be. A way to keep up with friends and family. Any advertising resources are appreciated but I do not want shoved in my face all the time. If Facebook or any other site I use wants me to buy things through them I am ok with that. Do not shove your stuff in my face because that just makes not want to buy it. Ever. Even if I need it. I go to facebook to see what my family and a few friends are up to. I don’t go there for news of any kind unless it is from them. If I want news (which I do) I go to many sources because we never seem to be able to get the real story from just one source.

    Comment by straykatnick -

  139. Why UNATION? – Dear Mark Cuban… http://shar.es/GOldX

    Mark, we are that social media platform that is attempting to engage users around content that THEY find relevant and meaningful to them. UNATION gives the user the power to CHOOSE who and what reaches them, and provides everyone – individual and business alike – with the tools and resources to nurture their brand. Everyone gets a fighting chance. Check us out.

    Comment by UTEAM_Sam (@UTEAM_Sam) -

  140. Pingback: Can Anonymous Really Kill Facebook? | MCJOnline Blog

  141. I also think the EdgeRank idea is flawed. The problem is that people click “Like” on too much, so that they’ll soon enough have their feed filled with spam. They don’t just like what they really like, and unlike the rest. So their lack of constraints becomes Facebook’s problem as the perceived noise becomes unbearable.

    I’m not sure many understand Facebook’s lists either. Do many really know that friends put on the “Close friends” list have far more info enter your feed? And “Acquaintances” have almost nothing come up there? Do they know that “Page lists” pop-up in the left side list for easy access to pages you really like?

    I think there’s a lot of confusion going on with Facebook, due to Facebook’s complexity. We have friend lists, page lists, we have a subscription system, and there are special-purpose friend lists besides the custom ones.

    I think Facebook’s way out of this isn’t to add even more layers, but to reduce the complexity. And make it easy to choose yourself what’s more important. Note how the current page system lacks a “Priority”. Each liked page should have a top/mid/low priority setting. Then give the exact same system for all your friends too, rather than this “Close friend” thing for coherency. Then remove EdgeRank.

    Comment by Jonas Nordlund (@furangel) -

  142. You know, Captain Picard use to say, “Engage” too, quite frequently, and look at where that got him, all over the universe!
    Trying to disengage, well that is another matter all together and not appreciated by the matrix.
    Perhaps another visit to, The Matrix movie is in order.
    In a nutshell, it seems you are saying, FB should do what it does best and leave it at that. The pressures to be something that your not, and compete for things that are often not real, are enormous. Just because you are a big business and generate tremendous revenues for the local economy and employ people, does this mean you should have the biggest say in how local government is run? Should FB continue to compete with Google in the information age? Should Google get into the download music business? Should… ?
    The point that companies, and people for that matter, aught to do what they do best and leave it at that is a valid one. However the temptations to go over to city hall and let your voice be heard because the community suddenly owes you something, or sending a lobbyist to Washington to protect your interests, or, despite these somewhat borderline examples of companies getting too big and, self important, the very ground we build our business in and the competitive business atmosphere we breath, continues to make us want to be more than is necessary; why should any of this matter unless your looking for a monopoly and to dominate your competitors, reaping the rewards?…. hmm..
    FB is no different than most companies in this regard as they continue to grow and look for new territories to conquer. Its not just them, they reflect a bigger attitude and a level of play, that only a few of the, “big boys” can play at.
    Yes, by all means, disengage, if you can…..

    Comment by suttonsbaydoug -

  143. Facebooks high user growth phase is over… http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/5695781-socialinvestorpdf/1292151-facebook-high-user-growth-phase-is-over

    Comment by SocialInvestorPDF (@SocialInvestorP) -

  144. Dear Mark, I wrote a book on this topic http://www.escapefromfacebook.com
    Are you interested in a presentation in USA? you can contact me at mcc@camisani.com

    Comment by Marco Camisani Calzolari -

  145. YouTube is doing the same thing with constantly tweaking their algorithm. I long for the days when you could go to YouTube and see the most watched videos for the day!

    Comment by Charles Como (@charlescomo) -

  146. Alas, while I applaud MC for these insights, it’s unfortunate in so many ways that TV is deemed – and accepted as being – “the best 5 hour on average per day alternative to boredom.”, plus whatever time is then additionally allocated to FB. What happened to reading books?? Especially now that they are as ubiquitous and (more) easily accessible as FB on all devices. I’m not a curmudgeon, and I love my TV shows, but I’m saddened by the profound and conspicuous absence of the recognition of the value of great writing – and its place in the pantheon of “alternatives to boredom” in this entire thread.

    Comment by Milton Lewin -

  147. Pingback: We need to use the Internet itself as social media. Then you won’t have to worry about Facebook putting their finger on the scale. | Echo of Scripting News

  148. Great post! They ALWAYS get it wrong choosing the posts they think I want to read. I’m with you, they keep making it harder and harder for me to do what I originally wanted to do there: connect with who/what I choose. Ironically, they don’t understand how to be social. And it’s the worst bait and switch ever for individuals, such as artists, to connect with their fans. Only the uber rich can afford it now. Not very social.

    Comment by kellyaatkins -

  149. A stream of billions of messages without curation is utterly useless. Seriously, you want to miss the big events from your friends and family in favor of seeing more worthless content? I sure don’t. That’s why I don’t tweet anymore. You can’t consume anything.

    Comment by Justin Kistner -

  150. Mr Cuban,
    Glad you decided to write this piece. Time to vent a bit.

    For me, Facebook represents grouping. Forming personal clusters of “important to me only” people I’ve met, grew up with and of course, my family. Those who know me, know I could give a s**t about “keeping in close touch” with ANYBODY!
    Just a Grinch I guess, but there ya have it. Not the nicest guy to get along
    with, and like the privacy.

    Business’s however, seem to feel being “liked” will then translate into shoppers.
    Does this happen often, or is it an exercise in digital futility? I can’t imagine that
    counting the sycophants, & other visitors, and then sharing those results creates profits for your store that are meaningful.

    Facebook, like most others, wants to stay on top of the digital world. It’s a competitive one for sure, but it is a bit narcicistic in aspect, and appears to be
    imploding from it’s own weight. Not good for a company with revenues dependent on advertising.

    I imagine it was a boon to business with the mass political advertising during the past election for FB. They likely made a bunch of cash simply by target marketing us all for the way we expressed our views. (Notice how you were bombarded with opposing view ads just to get you goin?! ) Brilliant marketing, but divisive. Not my style.

    Which brings me to my point. Facebook is a hairdo. It’s a fad, and should be thought of as a diversion, a background to your day. An online repository of your
    past and current life’s bits n pieces. And as you mentioned correctly Mr. Cuban, a huge time waster. Great way to get attention, which is why the business model works for them, but long term, I would not want to invest my own capital in FB.

    It’s almost past it’s prime and will be likely find it’s way
    to the digital dust bin shortly.

    Thanks for the chance to chime in.

    An opinion from a Domainer online since 1994.
    Rob Martin- Web Master

    Comment by Robert Martin -

  151. Pingback: Facebook Started Switching All Users To Secure HTTPS Connections | Bart VPN

  152. I really love what I paraphrased from you here, and gave to my own Facebook audience in your behalf because I think you’re amazing my dear friend Mark Cuban. Your amazing, I think it’s because you care and share. So I try to carry on that legacy by distributing your words anyway that I can. Here’s a little extra info I put onto it, being inspired by you, info that I know you’ll find equally frightening and eye opening about social networks, stemming from the points you found and made:

    “Your Facebook friends may get you close to Kevin Bacon, but FB is not going become a primary information source.”

    Google is a primary information source. Search mechanisms on Twitter are slowly improving. However on FB the attempt to find any authoritative or survey generated facts or statistics or info about people and the world, is futile. By virtue of FB self-imposed limitations. Facebook only allows 5,000 people max into your circle, and searching for answers or influence beyond that has too much friction.

    I agree that 5,000 people is more than enough, however it will never be an accurate thermometer or measure of the 7 Billion people on Earth or 300 Million in America or any other nation. Because its so small in proportion and too limiting with all its layers of SPAM policies and limiting features as opposed to empowering features that aid and extend reach to audiences. Fear is what spawns new laws and limitations. Greed is whats spawns the tightening of controls over the highways and routes of communication and exchange of information.

    Facebook’s strength is the simplicity and ease of using their system. Our commute on these routes and highways we travel online to reach our friends and family is very fast and reliable and dummy proof. And tampering with that, any changes in the purpose of this system, and limitations, is only going to hurt Facebook. People love freedom, they do not love restrictions. Even if the people demand restrictions, in the end, they will blame you, not their demands, for any misery and damage that the restrictions may cause. A society that doesn’t allow advertising and media is a totalitarian communistic regime.

    People don’t realize that each time they click on the “SPAM” button. Someday they will have absolutely no access to information about the real world. They will want to know if Nike or Coca Cola or McDonald’s or Disney has any new releases, and instead a blank page will appear that says these companies have been closed and their executives imprisoned due to their illegal SPAM activities. People are irresponsible. It’s human nature. It’s the responsibility of educated and sophisticated organizations such as governments and universities and experts and other professionals to discover safe ways for humans to live and enjoy their lives without driving off a cliff unknowingly.

    The way these online systems are currently managing and limiting the online world, such as with their archaic SPAM prevention methods, and the tightening grip they have on an audience’s reach, is self-defeating and obviously backed by a poorly organized agency. Where are the experts? Who are they relying upon to created these safety mechanisms and protocols over our advertising ability and the audience’s reaching ability?

    Governments are who puts up danger signs on the highways. Individuals do not do that. Individuals do not establish safe coding laws for skyscrapers to ensure they don’t suddenly collapse ending Thousands of innocent lives. So why should the internet be any different? Who enacted these SPAM laws? Obviously a government or agency or professionals or experts who have not yet done the necessary research to ensure they’re doing what’s best for the future of the internet and Facebook. And there’s absolutely no protection for the relationships of people who unknowingly bring their relationship online.

    It’s hard enough to stay married offline, once you bring your relationships online it’s an extra added layer of sophistication, challenges, and dangers. Facebook and SPAM enforcers know nothing about any of this because they don’t care about individual’s health, lives, and safety only to the extent their own butts are covered from lawsuits.

    Beware and realize you’re driving on a highway with virtually no danger signs. You’re clearly putting your life into your own hands and taking your own risks here with absolutely no professional oversight nor genuine caring assistance nor help. Thank you Mark Cuban for bringing up the points that inspired me to add a few of my own, and helping us, and the world to be safer and more exciting and successful in business, finance, and the world of entertainment! -Ben Arnold (AnaEzine) e-mail: BenArnold@AnaEzine.com

    Comment by Ben Arnold -

  153. i totally agree with Sponsored Posts being a way to improve the odds FB is a business like TV

    Comment by Jef Zila -

  154. Pingback: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning (GOOG, YHOO, FB, CSCO, AAPL, MSFT, NOK)Don't Call Me Tony | Don't Call Me Tony

  155. Mark – there seems to be several significant issues with FB brand pages:

    First is the recent issue you have pointed out relating to FB having you build your likes and now charging brands to push content to the likes they have worked so hard to acquire.

    Second, if you actually look at your brand page on FB, they are trying everything they can do to get people to click away rather than engage with the brand when folks come to the page. Come play poker, buy this foreclosure, chat with your friends, see other content.

    Third, they will sell advertising to your competitors on your brand page. FB wants to create a bidding war on interests. Google could sell words to the highest bidder because brands weren’t investing in engagement on Google. FB does not have this luxury. Totally agree with your assessment that is much different then Google.

    Fourth, because they make money on ads – they are very conflicted in taking friction out of the buying process. They want you to buy after clicking an advertisement – not directly on the site. They have raised a gazillion dollars and no innovation in commerce?

    Finally, have they done anything in the past few years other than allowing brands to post an image, video and comment? No innovation in brand engagement. Why, because they are focused on innovation in advertising.

    The way they are going to implement search is also going to be a disaster.

    I think many brands are seeing the issues and second guessing their investment in the FB platform. I truly believe that Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace will also have similar issues. They will probably handle it better than FB – will be tough to handle it worse. There are inherent conflicts in building a platform based on an advertising business model. It is as simple as that. It is conflicted at its root. What brands want from a platform is to make it easier to engage and have conversation with people interested in your brand. In addition, you want people to share and amplify your message with each other – word of mouth. This actually eliminates the need for a lot of advertising, so building the delivery mechanism on an ad model is deeply conflicted.. Getting content in the feed is the new ad model – not some banner in the periphery and you can’t charge for that. So the advertising model is deeply flawed.

    From MC> well said

    Comment by Brian Costello -

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  161. Mark, you have nailed a major problem I’ve had with Facebook recently. In the past, while I’ve known the analytics were working along with my actions, it has always felt like my own actions were the driving force in my time and engagement there. When I make a phone call, watch a TV show or read something, I’m making a conscious decision that may be mined for data, but that data mining was never “in my face”. I made the decision.

    Now, FB is acting like my mom, telling me what is thinks is good for me. It wants to not only be the vehice but it wants to be the driver, tour guide, and ticket seller.

    The recent trend where I have to play around with dozens of filters, double back to see what I’ve missed in the 84% of pages and friends posts that FB has decided were not of interest to me, or just try to split screen between my newsfeed and my timeline gets to be frustrating.

    I used Twitter as my basic real-time communication tool because I can see everything that I’ve requested from someone. I’ve made that choice. That has allowed my Twitter conversations to , at times, be much more “of the moment” and impactful. If I miss something, it is simply because I wasn’t there to see it, not because some formula decided that I would not really be interested in it.

    I’ve found that even people I follow on Twitter who I may not interact with on a constant basis will offer some info or make a statement that causes me to think, reflect, answer, and act once in a while.

    Essentially, Twitter has become the current “breaking news” while FB is a news smorgasbord that only lets you see what it feels you would like.

    Comment by Adrian Hickman (@adimike55) -

  162. Mark I have been working on an app that would make people productive if they while wasting their time on Facebook. It’s an idea that can revolutionize the way people work. It’s new and not been done before. I need more then just me developing the app. ben.rey@gmail.com

    Comment by benjaminrey -

  163. You nailed it, Mark.
    You give great perspective from a user/brand point.

    It all comes down to revenue. The over-prized IPO has a lot to do with it. FB has hard time monetizing their platform. CPMs from advertising are low because the site is a time waster. The whole user perception of the site is not commercial.

    They know they can’t get money from their regular users, so they are trying to double/triple tax the brands. Some of which have already spent a lot of money in FB ads to get likes on their pages. You can say it’s up to them to pay for likes or not, but now they have to pay again to reach the same people who have already liked their pages.

    I’m not sold on the anti-spam/quality excuse. As Mark says, if you as a user considers page posts to be spam, he is going to dislike it.

    Have you seen ads in your news feed or right below description of pics? I have. They try to get better CTR desperately.

    I think there are many other ways they can get revenue from brands and even from reg users without making them feel tricked and without ruining the user experience.

    Comment by Lyubomir Stoilov (@lyust) -

  164. Right on the nail.

    Might want to pay some attention to the market segments that haven’t been caught up in the social media mania. Quite sizable.

    Comment by Bob Aronin -

  165. Facebook is fully entitled to enforce edgerank. People consume content differently on FB than say twitter. Since twitter is more of a firehouse, its OK to simply sort by date since newness has much more value in that ecosystem. This is socially acknowledged given that tweets are firstly public. In contrast Facebook presents itself as a local social network. As such, your relationships on FB carry more weight. Social pressure nudges us to ‘friend’ mere acquaintances and ‘like’ things that are mildly amusing. You’re expected to acknowledge important news in your social circles. Edgerank reinforces this behavior. If something is deemed ‘like’able by your ‘friends’ you’re encouraged to also like it, both by the algorithm and social influences, thus perpetuating the cycle to your own network.
    Brands don’t fit into this picture. You don’t ‘like’ a picture of coca cola from a crazy party at mcdonalds’ house. Your interactions on the comments of posts by a brand are probably one way, and with predominantly strangers. The rest of your personal network is unrelated.
    Thus, sponsored posts work against edge rank. There are two big examples of sponsored posts. First is say, promoting a personal story or life event (it’s a boy!). Second is corporate to consumer say, Best Buy is having a huge sale on something. In the first case if a story is truly important it would have been picked up by the algorithm and social forces alike. In the second, most people don’t believe corporations are people, and their social interactions with them are typically unwelcome to their personal network. There’s no social pressure to like a picture of Jones soda’s new flavor as opposed to Jenny’s new baby.
    All in all, I think mark is right for the wrong reasons. FB’s business model runs counter to its primary product offering. They’re still experimenting and I hope they end up with something that makes sense to a social network.

    Comment by Hayk Saakian (@hayksaakian) -

  166. In the not too distant future, YouTube, Twitter and FaceBook will merge to form one giant, idiotic, super-sized, time-sucking, non-productive, mind-numbing, do-not-need-to-know website. It will be called: YouTwitFace.

    Comment by Kevin Keithley -

  167. Reblogged this on Tvangelist and commented:
    If you live in a city of a 1,000,000 plus your actual ‘contact’ with people is limited to the epi-centre (i.e. where you live) and a radius of some mile/kilometer or so around you – In effect creating a village in that large city; and reality says that a small % of that million inhabitants are your real contacts…each person has a different village some constituents overlap as in Facebook, Twitter et al! So PLEASE STOP pretending that we have access to Billions of people in Social Media because WE DON’T! There are many villages in FB/Twitter/LinkedIn and of course a few larger towns and a city or two that get created (as per all social media sites) and you have to realise this before you waste your money on advertising and sponsored media in those domains. Social media reflects life, reflects business and is a parallell universe to our everyday existence. Open your mind to the reality and ignore the hype…Think about it!

    Comment by tvangelist -

  168. What I take away from this blogpot is “don’t lose perspective.” I like that message. And this points to why I deleted my Klout account.

    1. I fell in love with my 55 and started comparing it to my friends’ scores.
    2. Klout added to the Facebook time-suck and I started “engaging” people on Facebook so that I could boost my Klout score.
    3. A friend started posting the most asinine stuff because it was “engaging.” He was engaging like Jerry Springer is engaging. His Klout score was going up but his business wasn’t doing any better.

    Facebook is great for keeping in touch with people. I’m learning to keep it in perspective. I’d rather be like my friends who are out in the world bustin’ their asses and making money … they’ve got less than 200 FB friends, a dormant Twitter account, and vacation in Hawaii several times/yr.

    Comment by ozpeppers -

  169. What I’m going to say, is about as shocking as my views on SEO and Google.

    All I see anymore is tail-chasing over Facebook. So many businesses scratching their heads, beating their heads against the wall, and then calling it quits.

    In Montana speak: “Y’all are crazy”

    Offended? I think I’ve got the experience and results from marketing on the Internet to say it.

    It’s always the same concept, although we love to over-complicate it. The idea is, if there are a lot of people over at that website, there must be a way to get them to pay attention to me and my business.

    Facebook will always be like a salesman trying to jump in on a conversation that friends are having. You’re definitely correct that Facebook is a good example of a boredom killing tool, as well as a time-waster. What you’re not saying is that Facebook is fulfilling a big human need, the ability to interact with other people – the need to socialize.

    Why aren’t we talking about search, email, optimization, etc…?

    Isn’t the ability to laser-target people via their search a big gold mine in itself? We’ve really only scratched the surface with what is possible there.

    Email has been around for ages and we still don’t have it right. Loads of businesses are sending out tens of thousands of unopened, unread, useless emails. And we’re trying to figure out Facebook?

    A majority of the web is under-optimized and stinks at selling. When was the last time that you tested to improve sales through your website? Did you avoid doing that so you could look “active” and popular on Facebook?

    Here’s the big issue – I’ll spell it out.

    Businesses are doing a lot of what they are told will work on the Internet, instead of doing what already works.

    Look at Facebook for what it is. Stop spending hours looking for something deeper, the hidden key, the reason why you’re not getting desired results.

    Comment by Jason Caluori -

  170. If you live in a city of a 1,000,000 plus your actual ‘contact’ is limited to the epi-centre (i.e. where you live) and a radius os some mile around you – In effect creating a village and a small % of that million are your real contacts…as is Facebook. So PLEASE STOP pretending that we have access to a Billion people WE DON’T! There are many villages in FB and a few larger towns and a city or two created as per all social media sites and you have to realise this before you waste your money on advertising and sponsored media. Social media reflects life, reflects business and is a parallell universe to our everyday existence.

    Comment by tvangelist -

  171. I for one cant stand to jump on FB any more than once a week now and that’s because its the only way i can maintain contact with some of my friends who live over seas with out sending 10+ emails. That being said I am growing tired of them using their clear competitive advantage to ram things down our throats that we dont want or need! I really hope some one comes along soon and gives us a viable option!

    Keeping my fingers crossed!

    Comment by sgmann -

  172. Hi Mark, Here is a solution called CHNL (pronounced “channel”). CHNL solves the fragmentation problem of media spread across the web and cures social media fatigue. CHNL gives fans their time back and the best content they care about from friends and brands. CHNL is your new browser to your networks and allows fans to discover content through social curation. We pull in content from your networks (Facebook, Linked in, Soundcloud, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Groupon, and Living Social) into one beautiful interface (your channel) and allow fans to engage with each network. Your fans can subscribe to your channel and never miss anything that comes from any of your networks. I emailed you an example for the Mavs:) I can be reached at jwander@chnl.it

    John Wander

    Comment by John Wander -

  173. Mark Cuban is right!

    Imagine you have Twitter followers and you have to pay for them to see your Tweet.

    Facebook is a company that “baited” the page users with “free” pages and like buttons and is now extorting that user category. That’s just my opinion.

    If people ALREADY like your page why would you want to pay? Makes no sense absolutely. I can understand going after new people but facebook is asking you to pay for people that already love you! It’s instane.

    Comment by Haso Keric (@hasokeric) -

  174. Hi Mark,

    I used to work at Facebook and current work at Twitter. Trust me when I say that Mark Zuckerberg has an extremely good understanding of how users use Facebook.

    I’d like to address a couple of your points and try to point out where I believe your argument is flawed.

    1. You claim that Facebook is a time waster.

    This is very true. Unfortunately for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit, Path, and even Youtube are time wasters as well (for most users) and they are all competing for internet users’ time and page views so that they can serve ads against these page views.

    To stay as the best time waster you have to engage your users and this is why edgerank exists. You state that “FB is not something you have to rush through. All those pictures and posts are not going anywhere”, which is true, but the 1 billion eyeballs who go to Facebook every month may leave if Facebook is either 1) not entertaining enough or 2) FB makes it too difficult to find interesting/entertaining/fun content. Edgeranks sole purpose is to serve you with content that FB thinks is relevant so you see something to read/browse/look at and maybe even like before you leave. Now that there competing services Facebook can’t show you un-engaging content. They must be efficient at showing you thinks you want to see or people will go to one of the dozen other social time wasters to be entertained.

    You actually get very, very close to the heart of issue when you state:

    Our FB networks have grown so big and unfriending someone is so much more difficult than it should be, that we just don’t do it.

    Edgeranks exists precisely because if Facebook showed us every piece of content posted by a connection (friend, page we like, etc.) a very large a percentage of the stories in our feed would be boring and not entertaining or engaging. (The reason Twitter can show ever single tweet is because we have an asymmetric follow model meaning I can subscribe to you without you subscribing to me and because I care much more about what you post than you care about what I post, both of our respective feeds stay extremely relevant.)

    If an overwhelming majority of the total stories people could see are uninteresting to them, then Facebook must try to estimate which stories it thinks you will find engaging. The way it measures this is by likes, comments, number of times you chat with the person who posts the story, and the number of groups you are in with the person who posted the story. Obviously this fundamentally disagree with your statement that “Defining engagement by clicks, likes, shares, unlikes and reporting works for Google’s search engine, I don’t believe it works for a social network.”

    I don’t think your understanding of the social network is too far off though, and I believe a lot of what you wrote is accurate. Especially when you state:

    By trying to be an incredibly efficient information delivery source, they confine our ability to organically reach most of our followers to using Sponsored Posts. They also significantly increase our costs because if we create a post that doesn’t engage our followers to the level the algorithm expects it to, it can impact our ability to be seen in the future.

    The real heart of the issue is that they most likely charged many of your businesses money to gain a large subscriber base (likes) with the promise that the value in a like is you would be able to reach your subscribers in the future by posting organic (implying un-paid) stories. Now they are obviously changing that story by charging you for the ability to get distribution in their news feed after they already charged you for obtaining the subscriber in the first place.

    I also completely agree with your statement that:

    FB’s has a couple of other serious issues that impact their desire to be a source for “information that is most interesting to them”. Because FB has become such a store of personal information, we have become very protective of our profiles. I don’t know the percentage of individuals posts on FB that are available to the general public, but it can’t be very high. We show our posts and see the posts only of our extended network. While that network may get you close to Kevin Bacon, it’s not going to let you use FB as a primary information source .

    Much of the fun in the early days of facebook were browsing the profiles of people you weren’t friends with but merely acquaintances with. Now that people have become more protective of their identity on Facebook, they have made profiles and picture more private, making browsing more difficult and taking a lot of the fun out of the platform. But that is a large discussion for another time :).


    From MC> Thanks for the post Amar. Well said. I agree with you on the differences between Twitter and FB, but didnt want the post to ramble on trying to explain them. You did a much better job than i would have.
    As far as the value of edgerank and whether or not people will leave FB if their newsfeed doesnt engage them every time they use it, i think the real issue comes down to whether or not FB users value the relationships they have on FB.

    I believe its a certainty that it would be impossible to recreate your network of friends on another platform. It is a unique “ecosystem” with value. I think where we disagree is that FB users will abandon FB for another platform if every use does not engage via the newsfeed. FB should focus on creating new compelling features and interactions that give people a reason to engage rather than trying to algorithmically optimize the newsfeed because they fear they will leave.

    What FB includes on the right side of our FB pages is not an optimal way to engage users. There is huge room for improvement

    Comment by Amar Anand (@amar) -

    • How do you feel about the potential of content bubbles around users? New friends or connections you make not coming through users feed?

      Comment by derrick503 -

  175. I think that you are right mark in some aspects… people like to have a place to kill boredom but also like to explore other peoples lifes with out having to engage all the time as well… hints the slang word of lurking or socially exceptible fb stalking.. relevants to social connection is bit ridiculous because people don’t know what they always want.. you might like a funny saying or inspirational quote post but not care if that same person is eating pizza.. the fun thing about social platforms is just that you get to choose who to ignore and engage with or just look at what is going on in someone life..fb is going to get crushed by someone and advertising $$$ are going to travel somewhere else once they figure out that it is only going to take additional human capital to engage people on fb..

    Comment by derrick503 -

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  177. Great post. I’m working on a startup and it would be great to hear what your optimal strategy would be starting a marketing campaign from scratch.

    Comment by Scott Rochelli (@ScottRochelli) -

  178. Excellent assessment! This will hurt Facebook as a lot of smaller brands, services, and mom-pops who made FB their default mailing list of sorts will no longer push. I use Twitter a lot for content curation from sites / people / brands I want to know from, and no longer spend nearly as much time on FB in recent months. Now I know why. I’m not getting the waterfall of content, I’m getting a controlled sprinkler.

    Comment by Nayan Padrai (@nayan1875) -

  179. Mark,

    I agree with almost everything u say except this. You say that FB is moving away from it original mission. However, it original mission wasn’t to help the Mavs put butts in seats.

    I like or subscribe a lot of products and as a result, my news feed seems like a long commercial at times. I do agree with u that when I post something, I want my network of friends to see it but it is different with a company trying to market to you.

    You r still my hero, but I do disagree with u on this one.


    Comment by mburkons -

  180. FB implemented Edgerank so that they don’t turn into what Myspace became.. one huge spamsite that people eventually stopped using all together b/c they were just over it. Edgerank was to encourage posting good content so that their user experience stayed top notch. I don’t have a problem with that

    What I do have a problem with however is that they’re still horrifically capping how many people view your posts regardless of how engaging the content is… and not for the user experience, but b/c they want to capitalize off of the brand’s reach their fans. They’re keeping their shareholders happy by alternative revenue streams.. a lot of their biggest content providers are UNHAPPY now though. I have an issue with the fact that one of the pages my company manages has 42M+ fans however we can only reach a max of 1-3M per post of ENGAGING, non promotional content. Anything that links out to a product, etc gets in front of less than a half million eyes. That’s ridiculous to me. We played by the rules and built our page up to 42M+ fans (all legit, none purchased, no ad spend whatsoever) and we continue to play by their rules to engage our fans.. and yet when we attempt to utilize those fans that we’ve invested our time and content into, we can only reach 5% of them by Facebook’s restrictions.

    Comment by Anna Mack (@annamack23) -

    • Just a tip.. if you post for fans birthdays which come up everyday and you can do this once a month and do everyone on one sitting it will engage the algorithm.. from my understand and it will continue opening there news feed funnel while showing customer appreciation

      Comment by derrick503 -

    • actually myspace became spammy because you could hide behind a fake name. its easy to spam someone when they have no idea who you really are

      Comment by markcuban -

  181. Complete and utter genius Mark.

    I’m glad you said this as it has been on my mind.

    The big question is will Facebook listen?

    Comment by Chad Ferguson (@CatchCatfish) -

  182. I’m fatigued by all the marketing innovation in this fractured, noisy space. I vote for simplicity.

    Comment by Noelle Doan Nguyen -

  183. Do you see another social network being born that will take all of the good of FB and strip away the bad? It would be very difficult for a new network to start tho. It seems to me that the new network would start not as a network but as a tool that is used locally which would start to connect people that live near them or engage in (an university) then eventually connect those communities together.

    Comment by Erwin James Will -

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