Facebook bait and switch

There’s been a lot of rumbling online about Facebook changes that essentially have bundled page owners’ friends into the back of a van and held them for ransom.

It was a pretty nifty bait and switch. You spent all your time getting more and more friends to your Facebook page’s news feed and then Facebook decides to throttle access for cash. You want all your friends to see your news feed? Great! How does $200 a post sound?

Dangerous Minds led the charge with a piece calling out Facebook’s latest money grabbing tactics.

An Ars Technica article by Casey Johnson takes a more measured approach.

Superhighway robbery or sponsoring posts? Either way it’s an interesting evolution of the media model.

It makes everyone an advertiser who has to pay to reach their own audience. Evil, yes. Brilliant, kinda.

For online publishers who depend on page views to sell advertising – and who have invested considerable time and effort courting Facebook fans – the company’s new policies are particularly galling. Imagine losing 85 percent of your inventory and then being asked to pay a king’s ransom — more than it’s even worth to you – every day to get it back. I believe the word is ouch!

Facebook doesn’t have much choice. It’s got to make a ton of money to keep its value rising. But the backlash of such short term thinking will piss off a lot of users.

That spells trouble. Because without user-generated content, Facebook is literally nothing. Just bunch of yearbook photos pilfered from Harvard servers.

Looks like it might be time for a new social network.