It’s no secret that Facebook has more or less become a social-media garbage barge. While not as openly full of Nazis and white supremacists as Twitter — sorry, I mean, “X” — bigots definitely run rampant.
Don’t believe me? Visit your local “neighborhood” or “community” page on Facebook and read some of the comments. It’s not subtle. And it’s a cesspool of conspiracy theories about literally everything.
If you maintain a corporate web presence on Facebook — I maintain several for my professional life — you have access to Facebook’s “insights,” which tell you generally who’s seeing your pages and posts. The demographics on Facebook, across the board, are bad. The average age of the users is going up, the number of users is going down, and the amount of engagement is dreadfully small.
Basically, Facebook is Century III Mall in 2007. It still has a couple of large anchor stores open, but the places in-between are being replaced by dollar stores, nail salons, clearance outlets and other low-rent businesses. Facebook is on a fast slide to becoming a permanent flea market.
Here’s what I mean: For a long time, Facebook has been pushing a lot of advertising into people’s feeds. I mean, a lot.
But over the past few months, I’ve noticed that the ads are no longer for products or services that a reasonable person might try — kitchen gadgets, power tools, cars, travel, whatever.
Instead, the ads in my Facebook feed are increasingly from random weirdos.
It’s too generous to even call these ads spam. They’re just … nonsense.
Here is a sample of ads I got in my Facebook feed in the span of an hour on Thursday evening. There were no ads for car dealers, or lawn care services, or restaurants. All I got were ads for wackos and lunatics.
None of these are made up. All of these are sponsored posts — advertisements — that people paid to put on Facebook:
What does any of this mean? Why are people spending good money to put this stuff on Facebook? And why is Facebook letting them do it?
To repeat: All of these are real ads from my Facebook feed, all of which I saw in the span of an hour. I have not Photoshopped or edited them at all.
It would be generous to call any of these advertisements “spam” or “scams.” Spam at least has a purpose. Scams are usually worded in a way that you can understand them.
These are gibberish.
Is this what Facebook has degenerated into? Are mainstream advertisers bailing out on Facebook so quickly that all that’s replacing them are weirdos?
In radio terms, this is like when a radio station loses so much of its audience that it no longer can attract legitimate advertisers like clothing stores and car dealers, and instead turns over its time cheaply to people peddling get-rich-quick-schems, erectile-dysfunction treatments and colon-cleansing potions.
Oh, and Facebook is advertising a lot of get-rich-quick schemes these days, too:
Ironically, one of the sponsored posts I got on Thursday night was this one:
Yes, friends and neighbors, she bought a crappy ad on Facebook to complain about all of the crappy ads on Facebook.
I’m not a social media expert, but if this is the best Facebook can attract for revenue, it’s circling the drain faster than anyone suspected.