The End of Facebook
It's not the end of Facebook, but it's the end of Facebook marketing for photographers.
By now, everybody must have heard about the financial problems at Facebook. On 18-May-2012, Facebook became a public company and started trading with the opening price of $42.05 per share on the first trade. Today, 16-Oct-2012, the share price is now: $19.48. That's a 53.6% price drop in just 6 month or in real terms 35 billion dollars lost. A billion here, a billion there and eventually we are talking real money. People lost 35 billions. Facebook needs to earn more money to show the investment community that they can grow. How much money they earn or loose is irrelevant. What is important to the investors is that the company is growing and will earn more. Facebook has a payroll of 1+ billion dollars per year and has 7+ billion dollars in computers/servers. Its electricity bill is almost 3 million dollars per month…
Until now, Facebook's main income was advertising. They charge more for advertising than Google because they have better information and they have more young people than Google. Million of businesses are also using Facebook with their “Like”. Thousands upon thousands of photographers have been using Facebook to promote their photography business. Anything they would post would be automatically posted to the people who like them.
Now Facebook is starting to charge businesses, including photographers, to “promote” their postings to the people that are following them. The cost is currently a per post being promoted.
How does Facebook determine if you are a business using Facebook to promote themselves? They review manually the accounts. First it started with the accounts with at least five thousand “Like”s, now they are down to the thousand range.
The problem with free is that eventually somebody has to pay. Thousands upon thousands of photographers, who have put years of promotion on Facebook, will go out of business because of the change in policy by Facebook. Please note that photographers are just as vulnerable when they use Blogger, WordPress, or Typepad… Many photographers lost their Flickr Pro accounts without any explanation. The photographers that will be hurt the most are the photographers that put all their eggs in the Facebook basket. This will thin the ranks of the “marginal” photographers. These are the photographers doing one or two weddings per year, the babies for the friend of a friend…
So what can you do about it? There is no real answer other than pay up or move on… Just make sure that you have a copy of all of your photos on Facebook.
- Me, I'm doing it the “hard way.” I own my domain name, I host my own website on my own servers.
- I would not be surprised if Facebook started to charge monthly subscription fees to businesses in the range of $10 or $20 per month in the near future.