Saturday, December 1, 2012

Facebook's EdgeRank system sucks and is bad for your band

Well, I knew I didn't like the Facebook changes that have been forced upon everyone but I knew eventually we'd all get over it. Remember the force over to timeline? Oh man - that thing is awful. But we manage, right? We move forward and we try to make the best out of it. To be fair, it's given us a bit more creativeness with the whole "top picture" thing. That's always fun, right? Right!

These changes, no matter how frustrating, usually do not affect the user outside of forcing us to figure out how to use the damn thing. Unfortunately, Facebook eventually makes changes that really really fuck us over as musicians. Ladies and Gentlemen... I would like to introduce to you; Facebook's EdgeRank!

Here's how it works; When you post something on your band (or product) page - Facebook's EdgeRank automatically kicks in. It looks at your post and makes a decision based on a random algorithm. Is this post going to interest the hundreds or thousands of fans that have liked your page?  What about relevancy? Does this post have anything to do with what all of your fans are talking about? Is it selling a product?

All of these things are factored in to a magical math machine that may decide that it's only going to test the waters to 10% of your likes. As of today, we have a little over 600 likes on our Facebook page (we need more, damnit!) so when we post something along the lines of "Come out to our next show and RSVP on this event page!" EdgeRank decides that because everyone is passing around the chain letter about copyrighting personal pages, our post to get more people to our live show isn't relevant enough. 75 people will see that post and maybe two of them will like it. None of them will RSVP. From now on, when we post about a show, very little people will see it.

What's an even worse scenario? Asking for your fans to purchase your product.

We are in the middle of writing a full-length album. That costs money! As much as we like to pretend that we're a big ol' fancy Post-Apocalyptic Rock and Roll band - we all have day jobs and all of our funding comes from out of our own pockets. Unless we sell some merch at our shows! We rely on at least some of our funding to come from what you good people buy from us. We have all of our music available for purchase on all corners of the internet. We offer merch through pay-pal off our website. We try to sell as many CDs and stickers and stuff as we can at live shows. We pimp ourselves out a lot because when it comes time to hit that big red "record" button - we would like some help.

The minute we post on Facebook that we have tracks for sale, new merch on the way, links to where you can purchase our EP or anything having to do with selling a product - Facebook's EdgeRank automatically hides it from the fans.

Why would this be? Why would Facebook go out of it's way to make things hard for your band? I'm glad you asked! It's very simple.


If EdgeRank determines that you are offering a product it will automatically hide the post from most of your fans that you've worked so hard to get. There is a way, however, to get every single one of your likes to not only see your posts, but to have their family and friends see it too.

It's called "Promote" and it's a crock of shit.

Every single post that you make on your page can now be promoted. Depending on how many likes you have, you pay different amounts of money to show it to specific amounts of people. For example:
For just $10 - EdgeRank will lift all restrictions on our 600+ likes and let all of them see it, plus MAYBE an estimated 400 extra people.

Not enough for you? EdgeRank has you covered.
For just $15 dollars they will not only show your post to all of your likes, but also an estimated extra 1000 people!

Still not enough for your post? Don't worry - they have a premium option.
For just $20 dollars, EdgeRank will show your post to almost 5000 people! Who cares if they're not interested in your product or are your grandmothers who don't have a taste for metal! We'll show it to them, damnit!

What started out as a way to help remove some of the clutter from your Facebook wall (we don't all care about your ugly kids, damnit) has turns into another way for Facebook to make a quick dollar. For a company that claims that they'll never charge you to use their services, it's a pretty shady move to charge you to reach out to your own fans.

Who knows - maybe they really are just trying to limit the clutter on our walls. Maybe they're not a bunch of greedy bastards who want to make easy money.

I've mentioned before that the music scene (especially locally here in Southern California) has lost a lot of what made it a mecca for music. However, I didn't expect Facebook to turn into a complicated version of the seedy pay-to-play clubs we have all come to hate.

Thanks, Facebook. I never thought I would say it... but you're making the New Myspace look pretty damn promising right now.

Check out out website at - nothing is hidden from you there!

Also a quick note; Help us pay for our album! Purchase our tracks from our BandCamp page. $5 for The Break Out EP - 8 awesome songs for the price of a cup of coffee. Thanks to everyone who has already helped out. New album out next year! See you on the road, travelers.