Facebook is like that < bleep > I dated in my twenties.

128px-Not_facebook_not_like_thumbs_downThis is totally off topic for this blog but I feel the need to explain my actions to my followers and this is the most appropriate place to do so. I’m unfriending Facebook after a long and drawn out relationship. Like many past relationships, I may have stayed a little too long and did not take enough action in getting my needs met until it was too late. Kudos to me for repeating this mistake with an internet entity and not a human being – surely that means I have evolved somewhat, right?

Since last fall, my small business colleagues and I have noticed an increasing trend in fewer and fewer people seeing our content. At first it was easy to think maybe it was us – we weren’t posting the right stuff, we weren’t showing up in ways our readers wanted. Maybe we weren’t doing our part to get the love. Then information started trickling in about Facebook changing how people are seeing content, and that is leaving businesses like us out of newsfeeds and notifications, unless we pay for them. Eat 24 summed it up best in their break-up letter to Facebook:

“When we first met, you made us feel special. We’d tell you a super funny joke about Sriracha and you’d tell all our friends and then everyone would laugh together. But now? Now you want us to give you money if we want to talk to our friends. Now when we show you a photo of a taco wrapped with bacon, you’re all like “PROMOTE THIS POST! GET MORE FRIENDS!” instead of just liking us for who we are. That’s hella messed up.”

Did you ever date that guy? I totally dated that guy! And it SUCKED. And I swore I’d never do it again. So I, too, am breaking up with Facebook.

Seeing that post from Eat24 was really validating, as the explanation from Verasitum about what was going on (which you can see here, and then their follow up here) that I had seen a few weeks before the Eat24 post went viral. Ironically, it seemed the more people were speaking up about these changes, the worse they became. Below are some stats from Facebook insights comparing likes and activity on the VIBRANCE Page last August to now.

Untitled design (3)   Here you see, despite a small but significant increase of 10% likes in the last 9 months, my ability to reach my fans has dropped by 50%. And I feel it! (seriously, Facebook, if this was your plan I would recommend you do it slowly over time so we don’t feel the sting so badly. Long lasting relationships based on manipulation work best when it happens so imperceptibly that the recipient isn’t aware of the abuse.) But 186 seemed high to me based on what I was seeing day to day — which is this: Untitled design (4)   Averaging less than 100 of the 915 people who have liked me. Less than 10%. Not impressive. Originally my plan was to post more – schedule 4-5 posts a day so I have a chance to be seen. But with numbers these abysmal showing up at the same time facebook is publicly acknowledging we can expect a continued decrease in organic reach (Forbes says expect to see Zero soon), well, I think I’m going to pull the plug on continued investment of my time and energy in this area and spend more time here on this blog, upping the content I share with subscribers to my newsletter and taking my fun anecdotal musings and great tips to Twitter and Pinterest. You can find me there —

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Am I deleting my Facebook account? No. We will still utilize it for secret online challenge groups and I’ll use the space as I should have all along – recommending people jump off Facebook to get great free content from us!

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