14 August 2014

Why Is Facebook Lying To Page Owners?

Even I'm getting over my anti-Facebook tirade at the moment, having recently called them out on manipulating people's emotions and their great bait and switch on marketers. But they continue to grind my gears, and this time it's as a page owner.

For those of you who run small pages, you'll be familiar with these notifications that pop up regularly suggesting a post is "performing better than X% of other posts". 

These are just a few I've received through my hockey club's Facebook page recently. 

They are incredibly annoying, there's no way to turn them off and one of the above I received a notification for seven times. But what I'm most interested in, is where this data comes from. What metrics is it based off, and over what time period? Facebook doesn't provide any information that I could find, so I thought I'd see how accurate the figures were.

Without a date range or set of metrics, I have to make some assumptions. Facebook only allows me to review post data from April 2014 onwards (I'm not sure why), so that becomes my data set. And the three metrics I review are commonly reported on; unique reach, unique users engaged and engagement rate.

The first notification says that specific post performed better than 95% of other posts on the page. Of the 55 posts published at the time, that means it has to be in the top two. But upon analysis, it doesn't come close, ranking 18th instead for reach, users engaged and engagement rate.

The second post would have to rank 15th or higher out of the 62 posts published at the time. Again not close at 48th for reach, 47th for engaged users and 37th for engagement rate.

The third post is a little better, also requiring a rank of 15th or higher out of 75 posts. It achieves this for reach (11th) and engaged users (12th), but not engagement rate (20th).

Happy to be corrected, but even this simplistic analysis tells us that Facebook is lying to page owners.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that each notification encourages you to spend money on promoting the post.

04 August 2014

Why Jesse Eisenberg Will Make A Great Lex Luthor

Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg & Lex Luthor
Facebook seem to be doing a bang up job of pissing people off at the moment.

I've previously blogged about how they've burned marketers with their great bait and switch. And just this week they've upset plenty of users (myself included), announcing that messaging will be completely removed from the Facebook app.

But the biggest concern is how Facebook manipulated the News Feeds of 700,000 users to determine if negative stories would impact a user's emotional state. Not surprisingly, they do.

With all that in mind, I can't help but feel the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v Superman film to be highly appropriate.

The evil geniuses and super villains of today wouldn't be old men looking to take over the world. Instead, they'd be young kids who made their fortunes in tech start ups. And despite pissing people off along the whole journey, they'll still hold the power to manipulate the emotional state of over one billion people.

So it does seems fitting to cast the guy who played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. He'll just need to shave his head.
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