Facebook needs more money – please help!

New Zealand

So Facebook is testing a new business model in New Zealand, where people can boost their post’s reach by paying an extra fee. Sounds kind of like making your post a sponsored ad, except it isn’t one.

Hmmm.  I remember back in the day when Facebook said “Facebook – always free, always will be.”

Now they are set to launch what will probably be the biggest IPO in finance history. Billions will be made overnight. And that’s just to the guy running the show. Why the need for more revenue?

Perhaps it is because quarterly profits are starting to lag? Maybe usage has peaked? Trying to distract attention from some other issue that might lower the IPO price?

Whatever.

As writers/authors, we have been told we need Facebook. The agent I spoke with at a recent conference was very blunt in saying the Big 6 won’t even consider a new author unless they had a social network platform (FB and Twitter) with at least 3 – 4 thousand “friends.” Her advice: “friend” everyone, regardless. “Just get the numbers.”

I didn’t agree with that numbers-philosophy. Still don’t.

If Zuckerberg expects me to pay for a Facebook post when he already makes billions from ad revenue and will probably reap a future record IPO windfall, he thinks incorrectly.

Now Facebook has done some good, too. I really appreciate the ability to keep up with old friends, and make new ones. That is to say, friends that are actually people I am interested in following. Not friends that are simply part of a numbers game.

I think this new business model is a foreshadowing of ISP efforts to come, with Net neutrality foes watching to see public reaction. Pessimistic? Probably. Reactionary? Rightly so.

Let’s hope I never have to post a headline that says: “Told You So.”

Now, off to work. This week: study study study! Final exam on Thursday. Then – thank goodness – another weekend with writing time!

And here’s hoping the good people of New Zealand will prove Zuckerberg wrong.

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