Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On Facebook vs. Twitter publisher value

Well it's been a year since my last post. Time flies, etc... etc...
Speaking of Facebook, I just saw on Twitter a link to Publishers Cool on Facebook. The crux of it, as has been going around the blogosphere for a while, is that less than 20% of people who "like" a brand on Facebook actually get to see that brand's posts on their wall.

And that's a pretty bad value proposition for all those brands investing in eyeball acquisition. Especially since email newsletters and Twitter posts to followers are supposedly free of that ridiculous filter. And I say supposedly because one shouldn't expect that a push service is going to be always viewed. For emails there's actually a very good chance (which is why I think email addresses are the holy grail of marketing), but if your Twitter follower follows 10,000 people I suspect that your tweet will drown in that person's firehose.

There is a fundamental difference here though: the Twitter rules are clear, and they're the same for everyone who doesn't pay for sponsored tweets (for now): 100% of what you tweet ends up in a follower's stream. Whether or not the user sees it is up to her and chance, but at least it's not up to some arcane closed Facebook algorithm.

And that's what it's all about. Publishers and brands want to know the rules. Nobody antes up before knowing the rules of the table.

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