An Open Proposal for Facebook

facebook-logoI know a lot of people who don’t appreciate that they don’t see all their friends posts in Facebook and that they don’t see most of the posts from organizations they have chosen to “like”.  Organizations, likewise, have been very frustrated by the fact that only about 6% of their “fans” are actually shown their posts and then Facebook tries to get them to pay to reach the rest of their fans.  All this is making Facebook increasingly less useful and less liked.

So, I have a proposal for Facebook which I think would benefit the users, organizations, and Facebook, itself.  Here it is…

Facebook should offer “Facebook Premium” to users and organizations.  With Facebook Premium, users would be able to see all the posts from their friends and “liked” organizations if they wish.  They would also be able to restrict how much they see of anyone’s posts if they wish.  Organizations would also be able to publish their posts and have them posted in the newsfeed of everyone who has liked them.

Right now, their are two reasons Facebook doesn’t show everyone all the posts of friends and organizations.

  1. Facebook thinks users would be overwhelmed by all the posts and not enjoy Facebook anymore.
  2. Facebook wants to make money off of businesses and other organizations by charging them to reach all the people who liked them (this is in addition to other forms of Facebook advertising)

I-like-it-300Users Overwhelmed?  I don’t think so…
As for the first reason, I guess I just have a higher opinion of Facebook users.   I think if you give them some simple settings where they can determine if they want to see all or just a portion of a friend/organization’s posts, they can handle that.  I know I would have no problem setting that…or even just ignoring posts I don’t care about when I see them in my feed.  So, in my opinion, more control = happier users.

Making Money off Organizations?
Facebook is a for-profit business, so I get this.  The problem is that most of the organization owning people I speak to are ready to write off Facebook, or at least don’t engage Facebook as much because they know they only reach a very, very small percentage of their fanbase (about 6%).  Facebook is shooting themselves in the foot.  By providing a reasonable way for an organization to reach their entire fanbase, organizations would once again be looking at Facebook to engage users.  More reach = happier organizations.

I’m willing to bet that charging a small monthly premium for an organization to reach all it’s fans would more than make up for the loss of revenue of charging them for “boosting” each post right now.

The Numbers:

At the onset, I said this was beneficial for both users and Facebook.  We can see above why it’s helpful for users/organizations, but what about Facebook?  Right now Facebook has about 1.31 billion users and made a little under 8 billion dollars in 2013.  I was not able to find exactly how many organization pages facebook has, but they have over 25 million SMB’s (small and medium businesses).  That doesn’t include non-profits, large businesses, etc.

Facebook Premium for Users
So, let’s say Facebook offered users the option of either keeping things as they are or getting all the posts of their friends and liked organizations with Facebook Premium for $10/year.  That’s less than $1/month.  Maybe you throw in a few other features or games as well.  I know some users won’t want to spend anything and in some parts of the world $1 is a lot.  So, let’ say only 10% of users opt to get Facebook Premium.  That’s 1.31 billion dollars of additional revenue.  BTW, a 60% opt-in rate would equal their entire earnings from 2013.

Facebook Premium for Organizations
Now, let’s say that Facebook Premium for organizations, which sends all posts out to every fan (who has opted to see the posts), costs $10/month.  That’s less than the current cost to reach a couple thousand fans for a single post.  I think most organizations would jump at this.

Since the only concrete number I have for organizations is the 25 million SMB’s, we’ll use that.  Personally, I think almost every business and most organizations would be fine spending $10/month on getting full reach from Facebook.  They probably spend more on coffee in a week.  But let’s say only half the businesses do it.  That’s $1.5 billion in revenue and that still doesn’t include revenue from Promoted Posts and Facebook Ads.

What Do You Say, Mark Zuckerburg?

I know I’m just some lowly blogger/head of marketing services, but I’m also a Facebook user and admin of 5 Facbook Pages.  I’ve seen the frustration of users and business (like Eat24 which recently checkmark-200very publicly dumped Facebook) and experienced it myself.  I think this idea has merit.  Run the numbers yourself.  I think you’ll find that you could make more money and have happier users to boot.  And in my opinion, happy users and more money = happy Facebook.

Take the Poll:

As a user, would you be willing to pay less than $1 per month to see all the posts from your friends?

View Results

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As an organization, would you be willing to pay $10 a month to have all your posts published in your fan’s newsfeed?

View Results

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What do you think?

  • Have you been frustrated by Facebook’s limiting who sees your posts and whose posts you see?
  • Should Facebook give individuals an option to to see all their friends posts published in their newsfeeds?
  • Should Facebook give organizations an option to have their posts published on all their fan’s newsfeeds?

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

15 Responses to “An Open Proposal for Facebook”

  1. I like the concept. Especially for my non profit pages. Reach has really shrunk and we have a real active base that would be interested in updates.

    • Thanks Steve. That's one the things that led me to this idea. We have churches and non-profit especially where their fans "Liked" them because they want to see the updates, but most don't.

      Glad you liked it. Maybe Facebook will see it/listen if enough people talk about it.

  2. higheredinnovation May 28, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Great idea! Majority of items posted by friends and family on Facebook simply are not seen and that's too bad. Lots of missed opportunities.

    • Yep. I've been surprised by more than one announcement from a family member who then told me, "What? I posted about this a few days ago." Yeah, I never saw that post.

      Glad you liked it. Thanks.

  3. Interesting but I personally wouldn't pay 10 bucks a month for Facebook premium as a user or for any organizations I'm a part of due to limited budgets.

  4. greatpoetrymhf May 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you kindly for sending out the love to facebook in this way.
    Eventually, they wil learn to serve those who bullt its success.
    I think the nominal amount is a better alternate to being bombarded by products I do not like, use nor endorse or their alternative to all unfamily-friendly pages to appear because they are PAID subscribers.
    Excellent post
    Thanks for sharng the love.

    • Thanks! I agree, I'd rather see posts from the people and organizations I've chosen the paid advertisements any day.

      Glad you liked it. Maybe Facebook will see it/listen if enough people talk about it.

  5. Kurt, I think this is a great idea! I'm surprised Facebook hasn't already created a FB Premium for users.

    As for organizations, I think it usually costs more than $10 to promote 1 post and can be into the thousands of dollars, so any org that is already paying for promoted posts on a regular basis would save money, which means FB would lose some of its current revenue. I think the concept is good, but my guess is FB would probably scale the cost for orgs based on the number of fans.

    • Thanks Paul. I could see them scaling the cost. I would understand why and, depending on how they do it, wouldn't necessarily have any issues with it.

      However, I'm not sure they would lose revenue. It all depends on how many organizations buy into it. Sure, it's a fraction of how much it costs to promote a single post right now, but how many organizations actually "boost" their posts? For that matter, how many organizations have essentially stopped using Facebook because so few people see their posts. Sometimes a lower cost actually brings in more revenue.

  6. Mark Steinbrueck May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Great post, Kurt. You may have some job offers coming your way ;)

  7. Hey Kurt…

    Indeed… a very reasonable suggestion!

    Thanks.

    ~ Louie

  8. Facebook should offer “Facebook Premium” to users and organizations. With Facebook Premium, users would be able to see all the posts from their friends and “liked” organizations if they wish. They would also be able to restrict how much they see of anyone’s posts if they wish. Organizations would also be able to publish their posts and have them posted in the newsfeed of everyone who has liked them.