Your content or Facebook’s content ?

Lately i have seen so much integration between Facebook and a large number of other sites that i’m starting to be annoyed by this fact. I don’t know about...

Lately i have seen so much integration between Facebook and a large number of other sites that i’m starting to be annoyed by this fact. I don’t know about others but i will never comment on a website that has the Facebook commenting system.

From a website owner’s perspective, why would you want to use Facebook’s commenting system ? I personally think that its a bad practice for your business. Facebook owns all the comments on your website and it will do whatever it desires with them. You are not the owner of that content anymore, although it was generated on your website.

What about the photos you upload there ? The nice little baby pictures or the pictures from your last vacation that you put up so everyone can see them ? What happens with those if Facebook closes down ? Or decides that you must pay for their storage ? Or something else ?

I prefer to store my pictures in Picasa from Google where i pay an annual fee and i know how much space i have and the company i’m paying to store them is accountable to some extent.

Another aspect of the problem is that Facebook is not known to have a very stable API. I read complaints all the time from people who invested lots of time, energy and money in developing something with the Facebook API just to learn that Facebook changed its mind about that API and made modifications that will break your application. And there are the API’s that get discontinued for good without too much explanations.

Either way from their perspective its your fault that you used them and didn’t read their Platform Policies where it is explained what are YOUR responsibilities, that you have only obligations and they have none to you. They can change anything, anytime with 3 or 7 days notice and you must comply. You have no choice. Go ahead and read the Platform Policies and pay attention to the sentences written with CAPS LOCK ON (article 15, section 3)

Investing in a platform that is not yours is not a good strategy. Social networks come and go. Facebook is now on the wave. But how long it will last ? Does the name MySpace ring a bell ?

Eventually people will get bored with Facebook too. When they will have more friends then they can process and will get news from the 1001+ websites/brands they have liked or befriended they will not be able to follow everything and/or this will become a burden. And then Facebook will fade away and something new will come.

So could someone explain what’s up with this Facebook mania ?

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  • tomitzel
    6 September 2011 at 08:51

    You sell your soul to the devil, meaning you integrate a Facebook commenting system on your website in the hopes of gaining additional traffic to your website, as anyone who comments promotes your content on Facebook to their friends, there’s a big potential of traffic here.

    As for your content hosted on Facebook, everytime a popular website eventually closed down, they always offer your content (or at least the photos) for you to download, see the case of Ringo for example.

    When you think about it, social networks are supposed to be fun, share moments, not important documents. I think personal pictures & status updates are overrated and I don’t see why Picasa is supposed to be better than Facebook related to privacy, you have friends & privacy settings, same thing.

    Google+ understood people like you and offers content download upfront, just to attract those people that have concerns like this.

  • lacisoft
    6 September 2011 at 09:21

    Yes, you can gain some minor traffic. In fact it depends on the target audience of your website. To gain huge traffic from Facebook you need to have posts about little doggies and things that can become viral. When you post about law for example and most of your friends are not interested on the subject then traffic gain is irrelevant.

  • lacisoft
    6 September 2011 at 09:23

    BTW. If you really need that feature than you can just automatically post/share a link to the article in cause to the person’s wall.

  • tomitzel
    6 September 2011 at 09:44

    Now isn’t that spam? Plus, no matter the subject, seeing someone’s controversial opinion on something makes you reply and get your own view on the matter. Simply posting stuff on someone’s wall doesn’t have the same result.

    Not sure if I understood well the posting thingie, you mean posting on your friends’ wall? Let’s say 200-300 friends, does not compare with commenting, 5 people commenting makes your content visible to 5 x 200-300 people, how many will click, that’s a different story.

  • lacisoft
    6 September 2011 at 09:48

    You’re right, i didn’t said it well. You post to the visitors wall. And its not spam as long as you don’t do it yourself but the visitor does it by clicking a Share/Like button.

    I agree that it does not compare to commenting as that can be more engaging. But another face of this problem is that i don’t really follow where my friends comment, probably others won’t as well.

  • tomitzel
    6 September 2011 at 10:07

    True.

    OFFTOPIC: have you considered adding here a “Subscribe to comments” option, it’s hard to follow up on replies.

  • lacisoft
    6 September 2011 at 10:22

    Not until now.
    But now it is fixed and you can use the link below to subscribe :)

  • tomitzel
    6 September 2011 at 10:23

    Great :)

  • Mihaela
    6 September 2011 at 11:18

    I agree. Plus I don’t want all my friends to see that I commented on some article somewhere. Why should I spam them? Plus when I comment I prefer some privacy, I don’t want my full name to appear or my picture plus other data that commes with facebook. Of course I keep that private. So if a site has only the possibility to comment with Facebook then I don’t comment at all.

  • Thomas
    6 September 2011 at 12:30

    I can agree with your assessment but you should also take into account the fact that in many cases the customers ask for this integration. Advised by “social media experts” the big companies have “gone social” and they ask for Facebook integration most of the times. This is not necessarily good or bad. Its just the way it is. The big names won’t care so much for the content. They care about brand awareness.