A few months ago, my wife told me something about, “I saw you liked Nest on Facebook.”
“Oh, yeah. The thermostat. I guess?” I told her. When the Nest thermostat first came out it seemed like a pretty neat and innovative idea. I didn’t have one myself, or any plans to buy one immediately, but I thought it might be a decent idea to “Like” their Facebook page. After all a like goes into my Facebook stream or the streams of my friends, and helps spread the word that I thought this was kind of cool. Also, liking the page will allow for some Nest news to end up in my timeline so I can follow these folks and the cool stuff they’re working on.
But what’s weird is that my wife is telling me this now. I think I liked the Nest Facebook page maybe an entire year ago? Whatever. I brushed it off.
Then a month later, my wife tells me I liked the Nest page again. Huh. That’s weirder. I brushed it off again. I’m sure it’s just some banner ad thing and maybe my name is next to it. No big deal. Ads are everywhere. But I’m sure it’s got some border around it and it’s easy to ignore.
Then a few weeks ago, my wife tells me “You sure do like Nest.” Ok. WTF? This is becoming annoying for her and for me. I don’t even have a Nest product. Liking their page was just a way for me to spread the word a bit, not keep putting “Nest. Nest. Nest” at the top of my wife’s Facebook feed in such a way she can’t even discern it from stuff I’m actually sharing or liking that I do want her to see today.
So I found that damn Nest Facebook page and unliked it. Sorry Nest.
But then a couple weeks ago I get this Facebook message:
Hey buddy- final days of the campaign- hope you are holding up okay- I got a notification on FB that you liked a Visa Signature page. I thought that was odd. I assume this was not your idea. Not sure how these things pop up.
Jesus Fucking Christ. Enough with this shit, Facebook.
I remember liking the Visa Signature page over a year ago because they had some contest going on or something and I could enter the contest by liking the page. I was actually experimenting with how these “like gates”, as they’re called, work because for my own company we were also playing with creating tools to encourage people to like someone’s Facebook page.
I had no intention to continue to spam the top of my friends Facebook feeds with news about the Visa Signature card over a year later.
This has to stop. There has to be a setting to turn this shit off. Took a bunch of clicks to find it, but I finally found something that says “Social ads show an advertiser’s message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page”. Sounds about right.
Here’s a direct link for you to use.
Let’s hope that fixes this problem.
I understand Facebook’s need to generate advertising revenue.
But there is a line that’s been crossed here.
Let’s look at Gmail. Google has all my account info and address book information. Google also knows me very well right now. What if tomorrow Google decided to send everyone in my address book a message like “Nathan likes McDonalds.” So when my friends wake up in the morning, there, in their email inbox is a message from me, Nathan Kontny. Saying “I like McDonald’s. Go get yourself some nuggets.”
I mean, it’s true. I really do like McDonalds. I love it. :)
But no one would use Gmail anymore if they kept spamming our friend’s inboxes with these notes sent on our behalf that we didn’t even send.
But that’s exactly what’s happening at Facebook today.
Facebook and Twitter streams have replaced many people’s inboxes. I don’t send my friends an email with a link to a blog post anymore. I put it on Facebook for them to see in their Facebook “inbox”.
It used to be bad enough when you’d get to a website and had to put in your email address to get the content or thing behind the website. At least then, the only one to suffer was you, if the company behind the website sent you more email than you wanted. But now?
Just by liking the damn page, you let Facebook spam the shit out of your friends on your behalf.
Facebook, this has gone way too far. Because most people can’t tell the difference between what I really “like” or post to my Facebook stream and what’s total bullshit, I look like an asshole who’s constantly pushing my friends to buy a Nest thermostat or a new credit card.
I mean. I can’t get every single person I know to read my occasional blog post every single time I write one. But I don’t turn around and email them every single week a link to the same blog post. Over and over and over again. So why would I want Facebook doing that with other items I care about so much less?
So I’m done with liking stuff. I’ve hopefully turned off the setting to these ads. But I’ll never like someone’s Facebook page ever again. I still will probably like the occasional photo or link a friend shares, but I’m even wary of doing that now.
Which kind of sucks. I wouldn’t mind getting an update from Nest about what they’re working on, etc. Liking a Facebook page used to be the way to accomplish that. But now it’s been completely twisted. I hope Facebook can innovate from this.
I’d even gladly pay a fee to use Facebook if I could get rid of the advertising and ensure my friends weren’t spammed with junk I did on there.
P.S. You can safely follow me on Twitter: here :)