Facebook reportedly now has 2 billion users. Which is a figure nobody outside (and probably also inside) Facebook can verify, as it is hard to count which account is real, which is a duplicate/bot and which is active (and what counts as active).
Despite this positive message about its user base, I think that Facebook is screwed. I was preparing this blog before the news came out, and it did not change my view on the coming downfall of Facebook (at least as we know it in the West).
1. Facebook does not care about its users
Which are really not users but a product to be sold, but that is not even the main issue. The main issue is, that Facebook treats its users as a cattle and does not give you basic tools to use it as you want.
My experience with Facebook went from good to bad long ago when they have decided to not allow having your feed in chronological order and forced on you their stupid algorithm as default. And some time after, they just removed the option to revert to chronological order.
I would delete my Facebook there and then, but extension F.B. Purity made the use of Facebook somewhat acceptable experience for some time. Eventually, even this stopped working reliably. So, I just gave up and deleted the account, as its remaining usefulness (mainly organizing events and the Messenger) did not overweight the downsides.
To organize Events I now use the old school Email + Calendar and for real-time communication WhatsApp/Signal/Telegram/Viber or whatever.
2. Facebook does not care about the rest of the internet
Do you know that if you have a page on Facebook, most likely nobody without a Facebook account can see it? Yeah. I have found out immediately after I have deleted my account just how bad it is.
Facebook wants its users to be logged in all the time and to force non-users to create Facebook accounts, so they regularly just set visibility of Pages to logged-in users only. Without any warnings to the page owners. I know, I have managed several pages and this was something I have noticed several times.
After I deleted my account, I have found out just how prevalent this issue is. As a lot of businesses rely on their Facebook page as their webpage, they are literally loosing customer (because no, not everybody is on Facebook).
3. Facebook does not care about its customers
Maybe if you are a big spending customer, you can get in touch with support or something. I have run several paid campaigns on Facebook and there were always stupid issues you could do nothing about and nobody would help you.
It was impossible to get in touch with support. I was always redirected to some stupid form which half of the time did not even work (e.g. could not be submitted, just thrown a generic error). And even when you finally found a working one, nothing happened after you have sent it out. Most of the time literally nothing. Sometimes you have received a generic bot response with something like “Haha, you are f*cked, good luck. And we are not returning you your money.”
Maybe my standards are too high, but if I am a paying customer, I at least expect some kind of support. Does not have to be real-time or whatever, just some. What Facebook was providing was unacceptable. Another reason why I have given up on them 2 years ago.
4. Facebook does not provide anything interesting
Facebook is boring. Their algorithm is forcing controversial shit in your newsfeed to keep you engaged, but I cannot remember a moment in the past years when somebody shown me something interesting on Facebook. I have rarely even heard the phrase “I have found it on Facebook”. And if I did, it was something stupid, controversial, but not interesting. More like tabloid shit than a useful stuff.
If someone is showing me something interesting, it is usually a standard webpage or sometimes YouTube or Instagram.
Facebook aggregates half of the internet, and in the end it is so unuseful that you find the interesting stuff elsewhere, because, as I mentioned, their algorithm sucks. When I ask people why they use Facebook, usually it is just to organize events and sell/buy shit via groups. That’s it. And for that, Facebook is too full of clutter.
5. Facebook does not care about transparency
There are several issues when it comes to transparency. Firstly, you have no idea how their recommending algorithm works, and they are actively blocking researches doing any investigation into how (reportedly) Facebook helps kill people.
Then there is the issue with non-existent support and reliance on bots to do moderation and other stuff. Which means, that often outright criminal posts are kept up even after hundreds of reports or even after state authorities report something.
On the other hand, often post containing nothing bad are banned for no reason or explanation.
And finally, even doing nothing can get you banned.
As I have mentioned, you basically cannot access almost any page on Facebook without an account. As many businesses do not have any webpage, just a Facebook page (if you fall into this category, please create at least a basic website, do not rely on Facebook).
This is so prevalent nowadays, I have decided that I will create an account on Facebook just to access these. Without making any connections on the page or using it for anything else. After I have created the account, it was immediately blocked. Without explanation.
I protested (via stupid form not working correctly on my web browser on mobile), sent my photo as required, filled out my phone number to get the 2FA code and whatever else they wanted. According to Facebook, it should have been resolved in 1–2 days. So about 5 days later, I was unblocked (without any notification, I have just checked, and the account was unblocked).
Pissed, I went into options to make my account non-searchable and private (this is not default) as I did not want anybody to make friend requests. That is all I did. And when I have logged in several hours later to access some page (which is why I have created the account in the first place) the account was permanently block – with no explanation and no way to protest the decision.
The worst thing is I cannot even delete my account now, so Facebook now permanently has my number and email.
So that’s it. Even after Facebook basically forced me to have an account on it, I am not able to. And I am glad. At least I know my decision to delete my account 2 years ago was correct.
Two years after I have canceled my Facebook account, my decision was approved by Facebook itself. It confirmed all the other reasons I have mentioned
- You are not a user but cattle to be sold
- It is a closed ecosystem, every day more distant from the open internet
- Even if you are a paying customer, they do not care
- It is boring and a time waster
- It is so nontransparent that people die
I think more, and more people are figuring this out and leaving it, and Facebook will face a huge decline in the coming years (probably starting) because people will just have the account but not use it for anything, just as I wanted to. And that is not how they can make money. Meta will probably be fine as they have other shit as Instagram, Metaverse (lol) etc.
What I write about counts for Facebook in the West. There are countries such as Indonesia and similar where Facebook is the internet for many people as it provides free data on mobile networks but just for Facebook itself (and you can see it in the numbers per region).
The situation there is much worse, as many people experience internet just via Facebook. In these regions, Facebook can still prosper and exploit the people there.