Why brands shouldn’t trust Facebook


This is a dangerous trend that we’re witnessing these days. More and more brands putting all their efforts and focus on Facebook, building communities and fan networks on it. Little do they realize that what they’re actually building, is a castle of cards, which can be blown away any day, any time mercilessly.

Facebook has its own terms and conditions, policies and documents, which are used most of the time as an excuse to damage other entities which otherwise trust them, like brands. These days, every brand wants their online presence built and facebook is obviously the first choice. Fair enough and there’s no point in blaming them, because there is no other social network that is as huge as Facebook is (I didn’t have to even say that, yet.). Faebook is where people are, and rightly so, everyone wants a piece of it.

But how secure is building your brand on Facebook ?

If you thought that you own your facebook page, and there’s no need to worry – then you’ve got news !

As many of you might know, when you create a page/community on facebok, you are basically renting out a room from facebook, to run your show. And facebook has its own rules for you. You got to follow those rules as-is or else they have all the rights to chuck you out of the rooms.

Simply said – you don’t own your content on Facebook. Facebook owns your content and have the right to decide what to do with it.

Facebook rules are not to help you but them…

If you go through the Facebook terms and conditions, by the time you finished reading, one would’ve deleted their pages and moved on. The thing is 90% of us don’t read it or try to understand it. Well, in all fairness, it doesn’t even look like it was meant to be read, but anyhow the point is that their terms and conditions are pretty absurd.

Facebook community rules suggest that if they find any objectionable content on the pages, they might just pull it down without any notice, reason what so ever. With all those million pages popping up every minute, that’s one task Mr.Zuckerberg would never take up, but still it’s a bit absurd if you look at it from a brand owner’s perspective. To be vanishing from the fanciest place online with no reason what so ever.

Well, when its objectionable content, then I wouldn’t expect Facebook or any other online entity to be lenient unless its 4chan or something. But the fact that this is a crowd sourced platform and mistakes can happen anytime, this is a huge risk we’re taking.

The funny part is that this isn’t just about objectionable content. But facebook is getting a little more cautious with things like brand names, tone of voice etc. The anxiousness is understandable, but what is frustrating is the fact that Facebook decides what’s good and bad in their own terms. No body questions them.

So, coming back to brands flocking on to Facebook. This is a phase that we’re seeing. It will change, and there shall be flares and blisters everywhere. Some brands will get pulled off for objectionable content, some will go unnoticed while some will die away. But never will Facebook give you any guarantee about your content. If you got to enjoy the Facebook life, stick on to them and live a parasitic life. Build applications, pages and communities. All good. You might even get lucky and get away with it for a long time.

But even then, at some point of time you’ll get tired.  We all will. Facebook will make sure that we don’t go away. But content shall be screened and chopped. If you can afford a dedicated account manager at facebook, you might get away with doing some thing extra ordinary and out of the box. But if you’re the restaurant next door, you might get a horizontally flipped hockey stick in your buzz figures. Because facebook doesn’t really care about what or who you are. If you go by the rules, you might survive. But if you don’t, you might just make a big mistake.

So think again. Facebook is fun, an it lets you have ample amount of it, even own a bit of it. But if you don’t play cool, the party’s over any minute.


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Gabriel Catalano

marzo 2011
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