Facebook Pricks the Like Bubble

People like numbers, and in social media, one key metric brands, agencies and publishers pay attention to is the amount of followers or likes one has. The like obsession has a bit of a “scoreboard” mentality. Facebook has fed this with ad products specifically designed to boost brands’ likes.

But now, Facebook appears to be shifting course. It began last month, when Facebook began making clear to brands that its likes don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to distribution. Just 16 percent of brand updates get through. Now, Facebook is cracking down on like fraud, achieved via “malware compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk likes.”

While Facebook tacitly endorsed this follower mentality, it’s nice to see it move beyond the like. It is now emphasizing how many people are talking about brands. Overall social media has been infected, on both a personal and corporate level, with “follower envy” that obscures its real power of direct communication.


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