If you ask anyone to give you a name of a social platform, there is no doubt that Facebook will come first. But Facebook is not anymore a social platform. What Facebook is creating is a new way to “connect” paid advertising and people. Facebook has a sole identity and should be part of the general media category but it should be exclude of social media. Why ?
What is social media ?
I am not going to re-write a definition so I am just going to, first, take the Oxford dictionary definition of social.
Social (noun): “an informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group”
Social (adjective): “relating to society or its organization”
Social network or social platforms came from that basic definition. Those platforms allow anybody to be part of this group and interconnect between each other. That was the first aim of Facebook: connect friends together and even brands with people.
But above all, all those connections if they are social (motivated by feelings, by common interests) should have been natural.
The power of social media is the users. The power of Facebook is the number of users and the advertising business model. It is so powerful that is now step by step killing organic relationship.
Facebook is the Monsanto of the digital era. It is the most powerful producers of “social GMO”, not tested by users, but imposed to them.
Insidiously, Facebook will pollute natural connections.
What about brands ?
Brands that play amazingly well, in limiting their ads on Facebook and creating a strong community management strategy, brands that have great relationships with their customers, that use user generated content, are already punished by the new Facebook algorithm. The new Facebook product is not the timeline, the new design, the new apps, is the new way to use content to produce more “sponsored stories” (paid advertising).
The new lovely cover on your profile, will become a big banner, that anybody will be able to pay for…
So basically, the future for brands on Facebook is to pay more ads to have more visibility. I am not against Facebook and I find them very clever to develop their own business but they are not anymore a social platform.