For the past six months, my Facebook feed has been rife with status updates along the lines of "F!@K U Facebook. It's over. I'm deleting my page!" To everyone who has made those two clicks: I know how you feel. As you can extrapolate from this screenshot, I was on the verge of doing the exact same thing.
So why do I still have an author page?
From an emotional standpoint, my sense of betrayal isn't quite as acute as that of many others. I jumped on the social media bandwagon a little late, so there has never been a time when my Page was viewed by anybody. The majority of clicks leading to my website were either direct, from search engines, or through Twitter. Heck, I've gotten more clicks from Google Plus.
My author page on Facebook has always felt like an abusive relationship. I never had a honeymoon period. I never saw benefits. When I didn't beg, plead, and cajole friends to share my posts, my reach never entered the double digits. The more Likes I got, the fewer people saw my status updates. The one time I tried to "Boost" something, Facebook rejected it on account of their "no more than 20% text" rule (p.s. book covers tend to skirt that line...). After they rejected my ad, they charged $5 to my credit card anyway.
In short, my reaction to the failed Facebook page experiment is ennui, not disappointment. I'm tired of the game, but I'm not angry. As long as it's free to have, the darn thing is here to stay. Here are 5 techie reasons why.
1. I hate dead links
For as long as I've been an author, I've included a link to my Facebook page on all promotional materials. There are close to a hundred guest blogs out there linking to my FB page (as well as my website, Twitter handle, and all that jazz). Add to it signatures on emails and forums posts, and I've got a lot of links. The moment I lose the page, those links die. As a user, I loathe clicking on something that leads to a dead end. For the sake of any readers I may inconvenience, I chose not to hit delete.
2. One link-back is better than none
Every time I write a blog post, Square Space automatically pushes it to my Facebook page and Twitter feed (and if anyone on the development team is reading this–Google Plus? Soon? Pretty please?). I'm not an SEO guru, but I figure one link-back is better than none. If this is not the case, please don't disillusion me. It'll destroy my belief in humanity.
3. Most Loopholes are temporary
I created my author page at around the same time Facebook started slashing organic reach. This means I got to watch the interesting development of small businesses using their profiles as pages (my gym, for example). It made sense. If one is announcing an unplanned closure or class cancellation, one would want all clients to receive the notice, not 1.25% of them (I divided my average 10 reach by 800 likes).
Trust me, after observing the complete uselessness of my page for close to a year, I was mighty tempted to jump on the profile bandwagon. However, it's a matter of time before FB cracks down on this practice. How else can they incentivize people to boost posts? Judging by the number of sudden name changes on my feed, the purge has already begun. I write under a pseudonym, so changing my profile to "Tara Quan" risks an account deletion. I don't agree with Facebook's policy on pen names, but it's their playground, and they make the rules.
4. Facebook's search feature
In Italy, most businesses can't be bothered to create websites. Many restaurants, stores, and clubs have a single online presence–their Facebook profile (yes, they're using the loophole). When I'm looking for something in Rome, my first stop is the search bar on Facebook, not Google. If I'm doing this, there is a possibility a few readers are too. The least I can do is have a page for them to land on. Who knows? One of them might eventually click on the link to my website, and renew my faith in social media.
5. Platforms evolve
Because paying to boost posts on a regular basis isn't in my budget, my Facebook page is close to useless. I update it less than I do all other venues. I no longer create content specifically geared to satisfy the company's warped algorithms. At this point in my writing journey, going out of my way to use my page is a waste of time.
That said, who knows what the future could bring? The powers-that-be at Facebook could realize it's alienating the majority of its content creators, and perhaps a useful feature will emerge to make the page worthwhile once more. On the flip side, I might make enough money off my writing to consider paid advertising one day. Given, for purely emotional reasons, Facebook isn't the most likely venue to benefit from this hypothetical windfall.
There you have it–the 5 reasons I didn't hit the "Remove Page" button today.
(P.S. If, by some miracle, you stumbled upon this blog post via my Facebook page, can you leave a comment letting me know?)