Jun 062012

Maybe this is old news to people better informed than I am, but I just discovered some very disturbing developments at Facebook. What I found is ironic. Last weekend, I used screen shots of Facebook posts by metal bands as a snapshot of the kinds of difficulties that underground bands face in attempting to continue creating music and performing. Now, it turns out that Facebook is restricting the ability of metal bands — and labels and blogs like ours — to market themselves and stay in touch with their fans through Facebook.

How long has this been going on? I haven’t yet found the answer to that question. But one thing is quite clear: When a band or a label or a blog like ours adds a post on Facebook, most of our fans who have “liked” us do not receive those posts. Here’s what I know:

NCS has a Facebook page. I add a Facebook post every time we add a post on this site, as one way of telling people we’ve done something new and ridiculous on this site (or new and awesome, in the case of posts created by the other writers). At this writing, we have 1,476 Facebook “likes” — a number that’s pitifully inadequate considering the amazing quality of our content, but still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

As the “Admin” of our Facebook page, I started noticing recently a set of statistics at the bottom of each one of our FB posts showing the number of “people reached” by each of those posts, and the percentage of all the people who “like” our page who saw the post. Since then, I’ve been looking at those stats, and the percentage has never been as high as 50%, and it’s usually less than a third of all the people who have “liked” us.

I assumed that when I added a post, it would show up in the news stream for every person on FB who had “liked” our page. When I saw those “people reached” statistics, I assumed that FB had implemented some kind of algorithm to  calculate how many of those people had logged in to FB and perused their news stream.  WRONG.

It turns out that FB only shares our posts — and the posts of bands, labels, and anyone else who has created a Page — only with a subset of the people who like us. It usually turns out to be a minority of the people who like us. I’m not clear on how FB determines which people who like us will see our posts in their news stream. This article says that it’s limited to “fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your page.”

I’m not sure that’s right.  I haven’t done exhaustive research, but I haven’t yet found anything authoritative that says how FB determines which users will see which posts. If you know, I’d love to get educated about that. But what is absolutely clear is that not everyone who “likes” the page of a band or a label or a blog or any other Page is going to have an opportunity to see the posts of what they have “liked” show up automatically in their individual news streams. And most people probably have no idea that what they do see is the result of some kind of filtering process by Facebook.

Now, you can probably guess where this is headed: Recently — and at about the same time as I started seeing those “people reached” statistics — FB began offering me the opportunity to “Promote” my FB posts. What that means is that I can PAY MONEY TO FB on a post-by-post basis, and then all of the people who “like” NCS will see that post. And otherwise, THEY WON’T. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:

“If you’re a Page admin, you can promote recent posts directly from your Page timeline by going to the bottom of any post that’s been created within the past 3 days, and clicking on the “Promote” button.

When you promote a post, it will be shown in the news feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally. Friends of the people who have interacted with your post will also be more likely to see the story in their news feeds for up to 3 days from when the post was first created.

“All promoted posts will show in the news feeds of the people who like your Page and, when they interact with the post, to their friends. These posts will be labeled as “Sponsored” in the news feed. Promoted posts will not be shown in the right-hand column of Facebook.

“A lot of activity happens on Facebook and most people only see some of it in their news feeds. They may miss things when they’re not on Facebook, or they may have a lot of friends and Pages, which results in too much activity to show all of it in their news feed.

“If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.

“Your promoted posts will be seen by a larger percentage of the people who like your Page than would normally see it. It will also be seen by a larger percentage of the friends of people who interact with your post.”

Promoting a FB post isn’t free.  If you have a FB page and you want all the people who like the page to see your FB posts, you have to pay for it, on a post-by-post basis — and the amount appears to be scaled in a way that depends on how many people like your FB page.

So let’s take NCS for example. I went back to an FB post I added yesterday morning about the post on this site featuring the new play-through video by Chris Ojeda of Byzantine (a post that Byzantine themselves shared through their own FB page). Facebook tells me as the Admin for the NCS FB page that my FB post reached 329 FB users, representing 21% of the people who like the NCS page on Facebook. In other words, FB chose to include my post in the news streams of 329 — and only 329 — of the 1476 people who now like NCS. The other 1147 people didn’t find out about it through FB, even if they were logged in and reading their news streams.

But FB still gives me the chance to “promote” that post so it will show up in the news streams of everyone who likes us, for a total of 3 days from the date on which the post appeared, at a cost of $5. If I pay $10, FB estimates that the post would reach 3,000 people. I’m not clear on how they would get the post in front of people who haven’t liked the NCS FB page, but they’re clearly talking about the FB friends of people who like our FB page.

So, what are the odds that I’m going to pay $5 to “promote” that FB post about Byzantine? I’ll tell you the odds: Zero.

Why are the odds zero? Because — by choice — I don’t make one red cent from running NCS, and neither do any of the other people who write for this site. And when I say we don’t make any money from this, I’m not talking about making a profit. What I mean is that we get no revenue of any kind from doing this.

You can call it a labor of love or you can call it ego gratification, depending on how cynical you are, but the fact is that this is a hobby — it’s an obsessive hobby, but it’s still not a business by any definition of the word. And although I will continue to take money from what I earn in my day job to pay the costs of our web host and to do other things here that require bills to be paid, I’m not going to pay FB to make sure all of our fans see our FB posts.

I’ll just have to hope that people who are interested in NCS will continue registering for our RSS feed or remembering to drop by the site every day or two and see what’s going on — which I know is already happening, just based on a comparison of Google Analytics stats about visits to our site from all sources and the stats I get from FB about people who see our FB posts.

So that brings me to metal bands and labels and other blogs. I have “liked” hundreds of bands on FB, as well as many labels, PR outfits, and other blogs, and I’ve done that so I can keep up with what they’re doing and find new music and news that I’d like to share on this site. But now I’ve learned that I’m really not seeing everything they’re posting about, because FB isn’t going to share their posts with more than a fraction of their FB fans unless they pay for it.

Maybe some of the labels and some of the bands will make that payment for specific posts that are trying to drive the sale of merch or music. But they’ll obviously be very choosy about what they decide to “promote” — and most bands won’t be able to afford to “promote” anything. And that means they’ll just have to accept the fact that using FB as a way of staying in touch with their fans is a glass that’s more than half empty. Which sucks.

So, for how long has FB been restricting posts on FB pages to a minor fraction of all the people who like those pages? I’m not clear about this. Here’s what FB says: “Nothing has changed about how your posts are shared with the people who like your Page.”

Taken at face value, that means FB was limiting how many people could see your FB posts for some amount of time before they recently introduced this pay-to-promote feature. For how long have they been doing this? And was there some way to learn that they were doing this? I don’t have answers to either of those questions yet. If you know, I’d love to find out.

Maybe it’s the case that FB has been restricting the sharing of FB posts for a long time, in which case I guess those of us who rely on FB to stay in touch with fans are no worse off now than we were before. But I have to say I’m suspicious about the timing of this “promote” feature, and FB has certainly been less than transparent in the way they’ve explained it, which makes me even more suspicious.

Facebook went public on May 18, which means that it made a public offering of stock, and its stock is now trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. That public offering was the largest ever by a technology company — the total stock sale raised $16 billion for the company’s owners, at an initial offering price of $38 per share. Since then, the trading price of the stock has declined by 32 percent, closing yesterday at a price of $25.87, which means that the company has lost more than $33 billion in market value in 18 days (I got these numbers from this source).

I assume this “pay to promote” idea was in the works long before FB’s market collapse, but we might as well get used to the fact that we’re going to be seeing a lot more ideas like this one as FB tries to squeeze revenue out of the community of 900 million users it has built over time. Like every other publicly traded company, FB will now be subjected to constant pressure from institutional investors, investment banks, brokerage houses, and individual schmucks who own their shares to generate ever-increasing profits, and FB will respond to that pressure by doing things that will piss off its users. Count on it.

It’s too bad. And it’s really too bad for metalheads, because what was once a prime, cost-free vehicle for starving metal bands and underground labels to promote themselves and interact with fans is now morphing before our eyes into something else.

By the way, that article I linked to above suggests that there may be a way for FB users to fix things so that they get all of the posts that appear on the Pages they like. I’ve seen a number of metal bands over the last 24 hours trying to get their fans to use this fix. I strongly suspect the fix isn’t going to work — even the author of that article says it may not work. And even if it works today, you can be sure FB will eventually prevent it from working, because any fix would undermine the incentive of Page operators to pay for promotion.

UPDATE:  I just paid to promote this post on FB.  I’ll let you know what happens.


  1. Ah! So that’s why it seems like I keep missing stuff. Because I am.

    On one hand, I actually can see a point behind limiting what information is posted to the news feed, if only to prevent spamming. If you go on Twitter, you get every fucking tiny thing that people or companies post. Which is fine if they are constantly just saying something funny or interesting or newsworthy, but too many just spam links with little to no context. But that’s Twitter, and that’s how it works, so whatever. So, if Facebook were simply trying to cut back on spamming, I wouldn’t mind.

    But, based on the number of people I’ve had to remove from my newfeed because they keep posting stupid shit 24/7 (like goddamn memes), I’m guessing that’s not the case.

    Also, about Facebook’s drop in value: I’m not a financial expert (surprise!), but I really don’t see how anyone thought that the initial stock prices wouldn’t plummet after the IPO. It has been overvalued for almost as long as its been around!


      I could see a dollar getting a decent return on that investment. Maybe. But five dollars???

    • Oh, right, last thing, I promise. Do you do actually do anything to promote NCS?

      • Here’s the only thing I do: Whenever any of us write about a band, I try to find an e-mail address for them and then I write and let them know about the post. I do the same thing for the band’s label if they have one. And then the band or the label may share the post with their fans through their social media, which spreads he word about NCS. Of course, now I know that when they do that on FB, less than half their fans will see it.

        • That makes sense.
          I also think it makes the NCS “brand” (I’m an asshole for using that word) more reputable too, since you’re not actively shoving just an absurd amount of ads in people’s faces. It’s all just your honest opinion.

    • FB probably has reasons for limiting the distribution of posts to people’s news feeds that go beyond this new pay-to-promote feature. Maybe they would say that it prevents the clogging of news feeds with posts that FB thinks people might not want to see — but it seems like that decision ought to be left to the user. And that explanation would take us back to the question of how FB decides which users should see which page posts. I don’t fucking know.

      Maybe FB would say that distributing all page posts to all fans of a page would cost FB too much money through increased requirements for server capacity. I’m not enough of a tech person to know if that’s true.

      • Some of the other bands I liaise with have also been seeing a marked downturn from their “ads” as well. Apparently they are getting promoted less as well, in order to reinforce the new “pay to promote” system.

        • All of this seems shady on Facebook’s part. Which wouldn’t matter except that they have really sunk their teeth and grip into the online world. Particularly the English speaking world. Facebook now has more than 900 million active users. That’s more than everyone in Europe and the United States combined, and there’s literally NO fucking oversight.

          I get that they’re a business and need to make money, which they mostly due through advertising. So, for Facebook to keep being Facebook, they need to motivate people to pay for advertising, but it seems reasonable to expect them not to be asses about it.

          • To me, there’s a difference between paying to have an ad distributed on the right side of FB pages and paying just to make sure the people who like your page will see posts in their news feeds. I’m sure FB would say that even the distribution of your page posts is just another form of advertising — but that’s clearly not true in the case of all page posts. Lots of posts are just about staying in touch and interacting with fans. And lots of people who have FB pages aren’t really conventional businesses to begin with (eg, NCS and the vast majority of metal bands and underground labels, who are lucky if they can even cover their expenses by selling merch or music).

            • I agree with you, I was just trying to look at it from Facebook’s perspective.

              The only reason I have any sympathy for facebook at all is that I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on one of the regular advertisements. And I don’t think I’m the only one, so I can see why they might feel the need to be more aggressive. I think it’s shitty and I think it will ultimately (hopefully) blow up in their faces.

              • When I was doing some research for this post I came across an article (which I’ve now lost) that reported on a poll geared toward finding out how many users actually bought anything that was advertised on FB, and it was a tiny fraction of users.

              • I’m not on Facebook. I actually check NCS almost every day on my own.

                • You’re a better person for both of those things.

                  However, if you use any websites that have Facebook widgets, there’s a good chance that Facebook has a profile associated with your computer, so if you ever did sign up for Facebook they’s already have some preferences based on your websurfing. Creepy, right?

  2. The recent Bloodguard posts have averaged out at about 16% of our total audience. Madness.

    The thing is, you’ve always previously been in control of your own newsfeed – you can “unsubscribe” from posts, etc without “unliking” or “unfriending” a band or person. But now facebook is actively deciding what you’re going to read, without giving you any say in it.

    “Hey guys, want to keep up with that struggling unsigned band you’ve loved since their inception? Well tough shit, they’re behind on their facebook-rent this month, so we’ve cut their connection to their fans until they pay us!”

    Cue evil moustache twirling.

    • What was the average before this new promotion…thing?

      • Unknown – that’s the really insidious part. It could be that facebook are only now TELLING us that our posts aren’t reaching anyone.

        It’s understandable if those posts aren’t reaching certain people because they’ve removed us from their newsfeed, but to have facebook actually denying us access to people who have “liked” us is upsetting.

        • Yes — it’s only now that they’ve been informing page owners of the number/percentage of people reached, that people are up in arms about it.

          As a page owner (http://www.facebook.com/valleyofsteel — maybe if I try to artificially inflate the number of people who “like” me, there’s a better chance the people who ACTUALLY like me will ACTUALLY see my posts?), since they have changed the way the statistics are displayed has been the first time I’ve really quantitatively seen the effect it has.

          But as a regular Facebook user and music fan who has “liked” several hundreds of bands/labels/etc, I’ve noticed for many months that the amount of posts I see on a daily basis has decreased, and I definitely feel like I am missing out on a lot that’s being said.

          Facebook has been telling people for a long time about its algorithms and stuff which supposedly determine which posts are more important to you (does anyone remember the minor debacle when they took away the “Sort by Most Recent” feature and decided to only show all users the “Top Posts” in their news feeds?? I screamed and cursed at their customer support email address nonstop for about four days when that happened).

          I just wish instead of trying to “learn” my habits and “determine” what I am going to care about, Facebook would let ME choose what’s important to me! Or even better, I wish they would learn that I didn’t “like” anything that I don’t want to get updates from! If I decide I don’t care about an update, I’ll skim over it, or even unsubscribe from that person or page. I don’t need stuff to be randomly hidden from me or shown to me by the whims of the website!

      • Andy said it: unknown. Those “people reached” stats only started appearing recently. Before then, FB wasnt telling us how many people were seeing each post, and it’s not clear when FB started limiting the distribution of posts to fewer than all fans of a page.

      • Shit, that is Insidious with a capital I. And what the hell, let’s make it a capital S too. InsidiouS.

  3. I read about this earlier. further proof that going public will only hurt my estimation of a business.

    Here is my thoughts: we make an official NCS Fuckbook account. Everything we do is NSFW anyway, and Islander can show more people his cock and asses.

  4. It’s called a “filter bubble” and it’s happening not only on Facebook, and yeah, it sucks.


    • Great, eye-opening video. And that video indicates that FB has been filtering the distribution of page posts for at least the last year, since it was filmed in March 2011.

    • It was a great video.

      Have you read Consent of the Networked? It delves into some of the problems of having the Internet run by either large corporations with no oversight or ruthless governments.

      Basically, we’re fucked. (Though the author does try to end on a positive note.)

    • Maybe we should actually move back to the good ol’ days of tape-trading and zines? They cannot filter such things.

  5. I can honestly say that this a bad move for FB, so disappointing!!!

  6. This is interesting news indeed. Guess Oak Pantheon will have to look into promoting our posts when the album drops. Hopefully there will be some return on investment there. We’ve been looking into FB ads for some time now as well, our past ad campaigns have mostly been on last.fm.

    And I guess we’ve sort of lucked out, we usually average around 50-80% of our fans “reached” per post. We don’t post often and our fans are usually pretty vocal and positive, so I guess that bodes well for FB’s algorithm.

    • I hope the bands and etc. that I “like” don’t get annoyed by the excessive notifications (actually, I’m sure they’ll understand, we’re all in the same boat) but I’ve started “liking” way more posts, just to prove to Facebook that I am actually reading them and want to continue reading them.

      • That seems to be one way to work around the problem, but I wonder whether FB will still artificially limit the number of posts that show up in your news feed.

  7. I think the whole premise of this article is wrong. Facebook has not stopped sharing your posts with people, the promotion option has ALWAYS been there. The reason why only a tiny percentage of people see your posts is because at any given time, only a fraction of people are on FB at that moment. There are articles in which the optimum times to post are discussed. Also, if you have a boat load of friends, say, over 200, then it is almost impossible for you to catch EVERY SINGLE POST. You’d have to sit there all day. Also, people need to set their FEED PREFERENCES, so that they see the posts by bands they wish to follow.

    Honestly, FB is a FREE tool for bands & artists to advertise their products/music, so why shouldn’t FB try to capitalize on the free service they are providing?

    FB should be an auxiliary asset driving traffic to your site, you shouldn’t rely on it as the main hub of your band.

    I created The Black Moriah’s website to completely embody the project. Every page is a re-enforcement of the concept & themes of the band. Facebook cannot provide the customization necessary to completely MAKE IT YOURS. I’ve seen ads on FB in DIRECT competition with the page I was looking at! That’s TERRIBLE for business! That won’t happen on your OWN domain 😉

    Thanks for the great discussion!
    Mistress Mavro Asteri

    • Thanks for your comment. I agree that bands who have the money (and skilled help) are better off creating their own web sites with means by which fans can follow their news there whenever something new goes up, join e-mail lists, etc. But I don’t think you’re correct when you say “the reason why only a tiny percentage of people see your posts is because at any given time, only a fraction of people are on FB at that moment.”

      While it’s true that you can’t count on all your fans being online when you add a post, it’s also absolutely clear that FB is NOT distributing page posts to the news feeds of everyone who likes the page, but that they will do so if you pay them money. Even if all your fans were online at the moment you add a FB post to your page, less than half of them will see it because it won’t show up at all on their news feeds due to FB’s filtering algorithms. FB decides who gets to see what posts, based on what they think is most relevant to your interests — not what you think. There are ways for page owners and their fans to maximize distributions of posts by playing into the criteria FB uses in deciding who gets to see posts, but that takes a fair amount of effort and even then you’re not going to get anything close to 100% penetration.

      And I do get that FB is a business and that they will naturally try to maximize the profit they make from providing their services. So does Exxon. Doesn’t mean I have to like the ways in which they try to drive their bottom lines even higher.

      • Those are all excellent points. A big part of the equation is user settings as well. I know that if I don’t want to miss anything by specific artists/family member, I can select “View All Posts by this page/person.” Maybe we as public entities should ASK our fans to be sure & do that so they don’t miss anything?

        Didn’t get a chance to read the entire article you linked to (and I see it also has a part II!), but will definitely be looking into it to maximize the TBM audience!

        I’m not completely defending Facebook, it’s got a horrible record on a lot of issues, but We CHOOSE to utilize it, and we can choose not to (which more & more people are doing every day).
        THAT is why an actual domain is so important. We thought Myspace was going to live forever too ;).

        The people will only put up with so much of facebook’s shenanigans, they’ll find the next social medium. But if you own & control your band’s domain and you use it as your central digital identity, your fans will always know where to find you.

        And money isn’t an issue. You can get good free websites (like WordPress!), you can spend 100 dollars a year to have your own domain without ads and fully customizable. The internet IS the great leveler (not facebook) if your band/project is going to invest any money, one of the first things in the budget should be for a website. Your audience is the globe, only limited by the amount of work your DON’T do. Facebook, twitter, reverb, bandcamp, flickr, tumblr, myspace, email, wordpress, linkdin, etc are all great ways to DRIVE PEOPLE TO YOUR SITE. Even a novice can create a pretty stunning page if they have a lick of design sense, and there are amateurs chomping at the bit to get their name and work out there.

        Would you rather be in complete control of the way in which your project is presented to the world, or would you rather facebook dictate that for you?

        Thanks again for bringing this to the public’s attention. FB is pretty evil, and people need to know how the information they are trying to get out there is being manipulated.

        • Excellent arguments, again, for having your own website. In the long run, the web host fees are well worth it, and aren’t terrible to begin with, and as you point out, there are many ways to drive fans to your site with a little effort.

      • Not totally true. I’ve seen promoted posts in my feed – they show up at the top of your feed which increases the likelihood someone will see it since you are guaranteed to see it right when you log on.

        I do know that fb has always limited posts based on your relevance and interactions. I’m in 2 bands, one of which is pretty inactive. When I occasionally post on the less active page, i see less reach, but it does seem to hit the people who have interacted with the page frequently in the past. Also, links and video it seem to have less exposure.

        While I’m sure money is a factor, i dont think it’s as evil as you make it out to be.

  8. So basically, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, I have to routinely visit pages that I want to receive posts in my news feed from? This is completely stupid and pointless.

    • Exactly!

      If one of my favorite bands in the whole world announces a new song or something, but I haven’t been actively interacting with them because they’ve been relatively quiet for a couple months or years… will Facebook assume their new post is unimportant to me?

      • I assume so. But the fucked up part is the reason I haven’t been going on these bands’ pages is because I EXPECT TO GET THEIR UPDATES IN MY GODDAMN NEWS FEED! Who the hell thought this made any sense? They’re sending the posts to people who will already find out about them by regularly checking the page itself. UGH people can be so goddamn stupid…

  9. So this has been going on for a while. I first noticed that when I posted something as the band, I as the person didn’t see this. I wrote to FB support and asked about it around October of 2011, other than the canned “we’ve received your message” I never actually got a reply. So it’s nothing new.

    On a partially unrelated note, DNT (do not track) is starting to catch on so don’t always trust your google analytics, you might very well be reaching more than you think.

    • I had this same problem yesterday. I posted two things on my FB page (within about five minutes of each other). On my personal news feed, one of the page’s posts showed up but not the other. The second one was the one I considered more important to share with my readers, so it was especially upsetting. I think it reached about 20%.

    • Well hell, I was unaware of DNT. I really hate being forced to educate myself.

  10. Yeah, this is a fucking pile of shit. I think they basically just figured out that pages were pissed off because of their algorithm and they saw a chance to uh, well, uh… rape us for all we have. I’ll try paying once just to see what happens, but mostly: fuck Facebook.

    • A word of caution, AMG (and anyone else who’s considering this)…

      I can’t speak from experience because I haven’t tried it, but one of the articles I read recently mentioned experimenting with the “publicize” option – and after paying $5, one of their posts reached approximatelt 1% of their fans more than without paying anything.

      • As an experiment, I paid $10 — the more expensive option — to “promote” my FB post about this article this morning, and the FB stats now say my post has (so far) reached 6,055 FB users and 40% of the people who like the NCS FB page. Interesting that it’s only 40% of our FB likes (so far) instead of 100%.

        • could possibly mean that only 40% of the people who like you on FB have logged in and seen it at that time? Work has been brutal (not the good kind) lately and I rarely have time to check FB until I get home, recently I’ve gone several days without checking it just because everything else is too busy. I did however just check FB and I don’t see anything from NCS in my news feed

          • Here’s the question this raises about the FB algorithm that determines the number of “people reached” by a page post, as well as the % of people who like your page that the post reaches: It could be that FB counts a person as “reached” whenever FB puts the post in that person’s news feed, regardless of whether that person has logged in. Or it could be that FB counts a person as “reached” (a) when FB has put the post in their news feed AND (b) after the person has logged in. I’m thinking it must be the latter.

            But that doesn’t explain why you haven’t seen anything from NCS in your news feed today.

            • For a minute thought I’d figured it out (when I viewed the NCS page it looked like I hadn’t liked it (despite the fact that it’s showing up as one of my liked pages and friends who view the NCS page see me as a friend who’s liked it)) but then I logged back in to double check something and now it does look right, however I’ve still not seen any story from NCS in probably a week. So your $10 might have reached somebody but I can confirm it sure didn’t reach all those who like NCS (on FB).

              • oh and using the trick from the article doesn’t seem to work, I hover / click on
                the liked button and “show in news feed” is already checked.

  11. Oh, also, I wonder if they’re just doing that to small fries but not the big ones..

    • No, it seems like they’re doing the opposite to them!

      The other day I was pissed-off when I found a post from goddamn Target in my news feed! Not on the side of the page with the ads, but right in with the other posts. I do not “like” Target, why am I seeing their posts, but bands I actually care about are hidden from me??

  12. If this makes any underground bands life “harder”, imagine what it would have been like with no Facebook or internet scene at all. Oh, wait. The eighties and nineties.. .As much as I use the internet to promote my bands and love downloading demos instead of waiting for them to come in the mail, I believe technological convenience has made us undergrounders very spoiled in the last ten – 15 years. Real talk. Fuck cybertron, FTW – D.I.Y.

    • You’re absolutely right. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m spoiled rotten by the web and the jillions of free services it offers, and there’s no doubt that when someone like FB does something new to monetize their investment in a way that restricts my freedom, I have an emotional reaction. Acknowledging this doesn’t make me feel any more peaceful.

    • Not sure this is really accurate as this isn’t a case of being “spoiled”, or even a case of making things “harder” – that’s not the point. It’s an issue of balance. This is a case where certain avenues for promoting bands are being turned into a hierarchy where the upper levels of promotion are reserved for those who can afford it.

      It’s not analogous with tape-trading. This is about a level playing field now being turned into one that favours those who can afford it.

      And, as a side point, just saying there are other options, as certain commenters have done a) assumes we’re all idiots, and b) doesn’t address the issue of what facebook IS doing.

      • I would NEVER insinuate that anything on the internet is analogous with tape-trading. Tape trading is WAY cooler cooler than anything on the internet, that’s why I still do it.

  13. I don’t care who’s on it, we all know deep down that none of this shit is Metal and Facebook never made any preconceptions about supporting underground Death Metal – just like all the clubs, magazines, promoters, studios, record labels and fair weather fans that have displayed the same integrity over the years. A big corporation doesn’t care about our Death Metal scene and there’s no reason to assume they ever did. Why did you think anything was on the up and up in the first place?

    • Of course you are right — FB doesn’t give a rat’s ass about extreme metal of any flavor. It just happened to provide a platform that underground bands made good use of to interact with fans and help spread their names and their music. And now it’s a less good platform — or I guess it has been less good for a while, and we’re now only figuring it out (or at least I’m only figuring it out now).

  14. Yeah, fuck Facebook for this.

    The moral of the story? If you want people to read your posts, there are better options than Facebook. And if you’re a fan and want to keep up with a site, add them to an RSS reader… like Google Reader!

  15. Lifelover posted this on their wall about an hour ago:
    ‎”Facebook is now requiring page owners (us) to pay to have their status updates read by every subscriber. If we don’t, status updates only show up in less than 10% of news feeds, even though you have “liked” the page indicating you want to see posts from this page. However, there is a way around it! Hover over the button on this page where it says “Like” and then make sure you are check marked to “show in news feed” if you want to get all the updates from us. Thanks for your continued support!” – and don’t forget to do this for other bands as well!

    So it seems that there’s a way to avoid this crap.
    Cheers from Italy

    • I’ve seen this exact same message posted about forty different times. I wish it would be that simple. It seems like that option is selected by default, most of the time. Hell, I’ve got it selected for posts from my OWN Facebook page, and I’ve still had stuff not show up in my (personal) news feed that I’d posted as the page.

    • VOS is right. This is the fix I referred to from that article linked in the post. “Show in news feed” is automatically selected when you “like” a page. FB still applies the filter which limits the sharing of page posts to a fraction of the people who like the page.

    • Actually, this is the more complete version of the fix. I don’t know if this will work — and it’s something each fan has to do. There’s nothing the Page sponsor can do to make this happen, so it’s a pretty weak fix:

      1. GO TO OUR page you’ve “liked.”
      2. Hover you mouse over the “Liked” button.
      3. Once you (finally) get a drop down menu, confirm “Show in News Feed” is selected.
      4. Now CLICK + NEW LIST (in the same menu)
      5. Click PAGES in the menu that pops up (make sure the bands selected then push next)
      6. Make sure its set to PUBLIC then type in BANDS I LIKE
      7. PUSH DONE

  16. This confirms what I began to suspect at the beginning of the year. I’m part of a parkour group in Austin, and I help admin the facebook page we use to announce our training times and get-togethers and such. It’s become clear over the past months that people often don’t see our announcements, and this helps explain why. Facebook is not at all a good tool for any of the roles it has contorted itself into, and frankly, I hope it fails sooner rather than later.

  17. Please sign the petition I started to Mark Z. asking him to change this and allow all fans of a Page to see that Page’s posts on their news feeds without the Page owner having to pay: http://tinyurl.com/FreeAllFBPagePosts. If enough people sign, he may do something to change it. He has done so in the past.

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