Lieutenant Sulu to Facebook: Engage (your users)

Forget hackers; Facebook's shady promoted posts are biggest annoyance to users, including wildly popular 'Star Trek' actor

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In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, entrepreneur Jason Sadler explains how he uses Facebook to promote his small business and why he's ticked off about these changes.

Given the fact that part of my livelihood rests on interacting with my community on Facebook and putting out content, you can imagine how unhappy I was when I saw this new Promote button update.

Not only do I now see that Facebook wants me to pay to reach my hard-earned fans (following three and a half years of my relentless, audience-building work), but I can also see that by not paying I'm only reaching a very small percentage of my audience....

Basically, Facebook is now acknowledging that my posts aren't reaching most of my fans. I didn't know that previously because that information wasn't explicitly revealed to me.

The biggest problem for Facebook? Not only has it ticked off the teeming masses, it's also irked Lieutenant Sulu. George Takei, the "Star Trek" actor whose funny photos have attracted 3 million fans to his Facebook page, is threatening to fire his phaser at the social network. To summarize: Facebook fan page owners say user engagement is way down across the board; Facebook says nothing has changed, despite the extremely suspicious timing of its "promoted posts" product.

Personally, I smell a rat, and it's wearing a hoodie. The timing of these two things is too suspicious, and Facebook's long history of using bait-and-switch tactics is well documented. I'd expect some quiet adjustments to be made to its algorithms over the next few months to tamp down the complaints.

That, at least, would be the smart thing to do. For Facebook to lose people like Takei and his fans is way more dangerous than anything Anonymous could do to it.

Who or what would you like to see taken down by Anonymous? Post your top targets below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Lieutenant Sulu to Facebook: Engage (your users)," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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