Why Don’t You Like Me?!

Today, I heard the news that Facebook is now allowing business page administrators to send individual invitations to their friends to “like” their pages, and I have to admit – I was less than thrilled to hear this.

I understand that Facebook, like most “free” services, has to incorporate ads into its platform in order to sustain itself, so when they came out with their sidebar ads, I begrudgingly complied. I don’t mind the ads because, bottom line, I don’t have to click them if I don’t want to. And when they started to allow people to “suggest” business pages to friends, I didn’t mind, because again, I don’t have to “like” it.

Some may argue that the same holds true for the individual invitations – “if you don’t like it, don’t ‘like’ it!” But I disagree – a personal invitation from a “friend,” even if just an acquaintance, is much more high-pressure than a simple “suggestion” hanging out on my sidebar, and I have the suspicion that I’m going to now have to “like” every local business page that is crammed into my notifications, if only for the fear of being the one friend who wasn’t supportive of their marketing efforts.

Not only do I find this new development personally annoying, I think it’s just one more step in Facebook’s road to total marketing overload. Once a place that relied on recommendations in a social marketplace, it’s becoming more and more like a crowded flea market, with everyone hawking their wares.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably still have to stick with Facebook for the time being, but I don’t have to “like” it. Besides, I heard somewhere that Google + is looking pretty good…

-Stephanie G.

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4 Responses to Why Don’t You Like Me?!

  1. Kristel says:

    Attraction as an opposite to Promotion is one of the main differentiators between inbound and outbound marketing. It is somewhat disappointing to learn that Facebook has decided to abandon this unwritten ground rule of social media… Viva Google+ :-)

  2. Great post. You show us how Facebook (FB) has increased it’s pressure, over time, on individuals to use their relationships to help further FB. Not cool.

    Some may not remember how this has evolved and you have reminded us. I also agree that it’s becoming a flea market in a place that was supposed to be a local place to check in with buddies.

    I too am very supportive of Google+. Google does have it’s own issues but it is has been designed for business from the beginning… search, mail, documents, etc. all designed to help businesses which is why I think the transition and integration of google + to help businesses will be easier, better and more transparent. Nicely done!

  3. Courtney says:

    I think the “flea market place” analogy is interesting and right on. The amount of pressure I feel to accept someone I hardly know is hard enough… do I also want whoever is managing a business’s Facebook to have access to the profile I spent so much time putting privacy settings on so only my friends can see what I’m doing these days?

  4. Kelly says:

    The trick is that Facebook is, and always has been a private entity. In your closing statement, you were correct by raising the question of staying with the service. I find it interesting that we are all willing to put up with as much as we do. People still use Groupon even though they are willing to insult an entire group during the superbowl, and people (including myself) will still use Facebook even though they are willing to become the most treasured personal information database. I think we are on the cusp of some major changes.