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Unless you’ve been living under a mineral-based lump for the past three days, you’ll have read the letter that take-away food delivery service, Eat 24 published, stating that they intend to leave Facebook due to its nasty news-based algorithm squeezing the life out of their reach and the apparent major money-grab that we’ve witnessed in recent times. It’s an amusing read! They stated they would end their Facebook presence on Monday 31st March, and they have done just that from what I can see. Read on for the Facebook response and my advice on your Facebook presence.

So what did Facebook say?

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Were your immediate thoughts when you first read about this episode along the lines of ‘yeah, I’m sure Facebook will be bothered?’ Well you were pretty much right, here’s the response from Brandon McCormick, Facebook’s Head of Comms:

“Hey Eat24, this is Brandon over at Facebook. I was bummed to read your letter. The world is so much more complicated than when we first met — it has changed. And we used to love your jokes about tacquitos and 420 but now they don’t seem so funny. There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends — really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space.”

Rubbish response Facebook! Why?

  • It fails to address any of the issues raised by Eat24 in their letter (they do have a number of very valid points)
  • It tries and fails to use the amusing tone that Eat24 used in their letter
  • It slaps a Facebook customer square in the face

Eat24 is a tech-based business, that has just pulled out of Facebook due to a distinct lack of ROI unless they pay Facebook for post boosting etc. Facebook should be concerned, as if many follow suit, they won’t have brands etc that are big enough to continue to line their pockets in the way that Zuck and co have become accustomed to. It’ll take a lot more for that to happen, as brands are naturally scared of alienating an audience by not being present on the platform. Will Facebook be the force it is in 10 years time? Pissing off your customer base is a sure-fire way to limit your long-term future.

Should you follow suit?

First and foremost, don’t do anything rash. You really need to work out what you stand to lose if you withdraw from Facebook. Is it actually returning anything tangible for your business or is it just a fluffy ‘awareness’ play? There’s a lot of thinking to do here! For example, if you close your Facebook Page, where will you send people to? Twitter doesn’t offer the same experience in terms of conversation and media sharing. Google Plus is great, but I guarantee your full Facebook audience aren’t there yet. What I will say, is that if you aren’t willing to spend some cash, then future success via Facebook is only going to get harder based on current form. At Velocity we often help businesses with their first forays into social media – right now I’m telling them that we should only venture on to Facebook with a war-chest in place, or if not, expect very moderate success via hard, creative and analysis based work. Reality bites.

Do you think Eat24 have done the right thing? Is Facebook’s response fair?

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Slap image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/tensafefrogs/ on Flicker and used under creative commons. Little Britain GIF via http://collegetimes.com/2014/03/20/39-lies-we-told-teachers-in-school

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