Larry posted this on the Book of Faces, so I quickly grabbed it before they could memory hole it:
To put into perspective just how profoundly dishonest social media companies are, and this one in particular, and how hard it is for creatives to stay in touch with the audience who wants to buy their work…
I’ve been frozen around 24k FB followers for years. That number never seems to go up. It rose steadily for years, and then suddenly, poof. It just stopped. Cold. I could write something super viral with hundreds of shares to new readers, and literally thousands of comments, but nothing. Follower count stays the same.
Over on Twitter my follower count grew steadily for years, and then suddenly, for no apparent reason it just stopped around 10k if I recall correctly. No matter what I did or said, it was frozen. Elon buys Twitter, and for the first time in years that number started to grow. Now it’s at 27k with steady growth, and big jumps whenever I write something that goes viral.
Also amusing after the Elon purchase, I’d tweet something, and somebody who’d followed me years ago would go “wow! You’re using twitter again? I haven’t seen you tweet in forever.” Oh, I was there, they just didn’t show you anything I wrote.
When FB does show my followers what I wrote, it is often days later. This was one of the things that utterly ruined the Book Bombs I used to do for authors. It also pisses me off when I’m trying to do some charity thing and trying to build momentum to help somebody, but FB is all like, nope. Fuck you.
Not that the FB follower number actually means anything, because near as I can tell whatever I post only gets shown to a small fraction of them anyway. If I use any no-no or hurt-hurt words that offend the algos (which is basically everything) that percentage is far smaller. But even the most innocuous things only get shown to a handful.
I hear Instagram is better about the throttling, but I just don’t get it, and hardly ever use it. It’s pictures and hash tags. I’m a writer. So I mostly use it when I post a picture of a new book coming out.
Blogs? Blogs are a shadow of what they once were because the social media companies tricked all the creators into aggregating our followers into one convenient place before they pulled the rug out from under us. So now most of the audience doesn’t go to blogs anymore.
Email newsletters? I’ve got one that I use strictly for book product announcements only. (you can sign up for it on my blog) but how much of that ends up in everybody’s spam folder to do no good, I don’t rightly know.
It would be so nice and convenient if the social media companies had a feature we could simply pay for that was basically “show this post to all the people who voluntarily clicked to see my all posts.”
That’s it. Just a button with a dollar sign and an amount on it.
But nope. We get feeds full of ads for shit tier holsters and “fuel filters” and “recommended” pages of total fucking bullshit clickbait garbage that we don’t want. But we don’t get to see the actual stuff we signed up saying we wanted to see.
Seriously, I would pay actual money for that. I know your robots are reading this. Add that button, you greedy bastards.