#Technology: #Facebook Starts Charging Marketers to Send Messages

by: 00juno , December 21, 2012

Technology, FacebookYesterday Facebook began testing a new fee for sending messages to anyone outside of a user's immediate network of friends.


More than just turning more brands off of using the social platform as a marketing tool, this signals a major shift needed to keep today's startup culture alive and a new marketing strategy for those who have been investing in social media marketing.


The new move by Facebook charges senders $1 per message sent to someone outside of their immediate circle of contacts and would cap the number of these marketing messages to recipients to one per week.


In one sense it takes Facebook back to its original roots as a tight knit social network. On the other hand, it will have a major negative impact on all of those businesses that have been using the platform for mass outbound marketing. It will now be far too expensive to use for all but the largest brands like Coca Cola.


The Menlo Park social media giant may believe that brands are held ransom to forking over any amount it demands to keep marketing due to its past status as a "must-have" for all brands. However, on the back of a flurry of these moves, Facebook has certainly lost this status and now remains a side thought as companies get busy focusing on more profitable advertising channels.


Investors may love the hope of bringing in more money but are perhaps out of touch with how businesses are really using it. This is definitely clear as this announcement yesterday brought a halt to Facebook's rebound and has sent the share price sliding downwards again.


More significantly, on the back of this week's Instagram debacle, it is clear this approach from social and tech businesses presents a major threat to the nation's startup culture and tech industry. Venture capital funds and investors are going to get fed up with losing money on these bets if there isn't a major shift in mentally very soon.


The current culture has made it acceptable for entrepreneurs to launch trendy ideas and tech platforms with no real business plan or plan for profitability from the start. It is no wonder so many startups are failing. We have been enjoying an amazing climate where investors funnel masses of capital into accelerators and incubators and are okay with an occasional winner. However, if even the largest "success" stories continue to flop, that money will soon go elsewhere, ending an incredible period of innovation.


Freemium is great, but a business must be profitable enough to at least cover its own overhead and expansion from the start or have a plan to do so within a fixed period of time. Sadly, most won't grasp the magnitude of this.


Truly savvy entrepreneurs and those serious about their long term success will be scooping the best toll free numbers ahead of the New Year to roll out alternative marketing campaigns as they decrease their reliance on social.


In order to serve these winning brands and those who serve them, Custom Toll Free has just launched a new page sporting the best specialty vanity numbers for marketing agencies.

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