Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Update: The day after abandoning my Facebook page
My first full day without my Facebook page is going well and the experience feels differently than I'd imagined, which I'll explain in a moment.
I heard from many fellow journalists yesterday after posting my detailed reasoning for shrugging off the "Pages" system Facebook wants us to use-- in favor of simply creating a second account, wanting to know how this goes.
READ: WHY I KISSED MY FACEBOOK PAGE GOODBYE
It's a proposition that puts me at risk of being found in violation of Facebook's terms of service, though I sincerely hope not.
FIRST, THE NUMBERS!
As I write this, my new account is up to 275 friends and a handful of subscribers.
Which means on just the first day, I'm at 71 percent of the total connections (386) I had on my fledgling page before I abandoned it.
I've had a steady flow of friend requests since then, and Facebook made it pretty easy to grow my audience by suggesting all kinds of friends for me.
I was giddy to discover the suggested friends were highly relevant to me! The list was rich in people on my beat as a reporter: Colorado politics.
This was an unexpected treat and one that I greatly appreciate!
Turns out, Facebook doesn't like this feature to be too helpful, too fast. My furious friend requesting convinced them I might be a robot:
While this significantly helped boost my top line number of connections, I've also noticed a significant amount people simply reaching out by seeing me here.
I don't think it's going to take long for my number of connections to exceed what I had on my Page when I finally threw my hands up over the way Facebook restricted its reach.
MORE UNEXPECTED BENEFITS
There are valuable aspects of this switch that go beyond metrics.
Another difference I noticed immediately by jumping off of Pages and on to a new profile: it's clear that these people are getting better interactions with me.
I expected increased exposure for my posts, but unlike Twitter, it trickles in over time.
Still, I've noticed richer engagement with the few items I have posted so far.
And I've had people reach out to me in messenger to ask follow-up questions about the stories they see me covering on TV.
Mostly, though, it just feels different for me, the user.
I feel like a member of the community that Facebook is building, rather than a barnacle only allowed to exist on the off chance I might pay to play.
It's a feeling I'd missed in work life on Facebook and one I'm glad to have back.
More to come.