Then came strange algorithms that worked out how important your posts were in relationship to the millions of other status updates, and not long after promoted posts. Pages have become complicated and costly. If you want to be sure your readers or followers see a page update, you have to pay. Otherwise only a handful (and I mean a handful) will see it. Even if you do pay, there's no guarantee enough of the right people will see it. And this pay to promote posts option doesn't just apply to pages - there's also a promote post option for main account status updates.
All of this was making me seriously doubt why I even had an author page and book pages. I tried paying to promote a few posts and they appeared to make no difference to my sales or number of followers The money I paid was used up within a few hours - the window of opportunity to see a page update was ridiculously small. It just didn't seem worth the money. So, I decided to keep my pages as nothing more than window dressing that readers could visit via an eBook or website link.
Then came something even more irritating - the ticker list.
This gem applies to your main account. Facebook says it's a real time feed of your friends' activities. Here's how it actually works: the less status updates you like for a particular person, the less likely they'll end up in your news feed. In other words, stop liking enough of someone's updates and they'll stop showing up at all. How many likes are enough to keep them in your news feed is unclear. But wait a moment. There's a handy ticker list on the top right hand side of your Facebook page, which lists all the status updates you are now not getting. Confused? You now have a news feed and a separate smaller list to check.
I tested my assessment to make sure I was reading the situation correctly. I stopped liking and commenting on two friends status updates. Within a few days they'd vanished from my news feed and now only appear in my ticker list.
What does this mean? If you don't want to miss status updates you either need to be constantly checking your news feed and ticker list and liking everything, or checking friends individual pages. Also, if you want your status updates to at least appear in another friends ticker list, you need to like your own updates to ensure they are more visible. Worse, if you're using an app to view Facebook, the ticker list simply isn't there. For those of you who predominately use an app to view Facebook, you will no longer be able to see all your friends status updates.
Seriously? Do I have time to worry about such things? Do any of us? Am I cynical in thinking that the ticker list is one step on the ladder to making all posts invisible unless paid for? I'd much rather pay a monthly subscription fee than this nonsense.
The easy answer would be to close my Facebook account. I don't want to do that for two reasons: I enjoy the social aspect of the site and it's my main point of contact for my writing group, Untethered Realms. Instead I'm refusing to let Facebook suck up my time in an endless game of 'how visible are my status updates?'. I will post as and when, as I've always done. When I have the time I will read my news feed and like and/or comment. Will I worry that I'm losing important updates or that no one is seeing mine? No. Life is too short for such unnecessary worry. And there are successful authors out there who don't use Facebook. It's not the end of the world.
What do you think? Did you know about the ticker list? How important is Facebook to you both personally and as a writer? Will the latest changes influence how you use Facebook?
As always, I'd love to read your input.