Is the End of Facebook Near?

If you need a simple answer to the question asked in the headline, here it is: no.

But the quandaries of Facebook are more complex than that, and its recent headline-making problems will most likely affect how you do business there (if you do).

You probably saw the news recently about Facebook’s epic tumble in the stock market—the largest in stock market history, in fact. It was the first company ever to have lost more than $100 billion in market value in just one day.

I am no stock market expert. I don’t actively follow the market, nor do I possess a sufficient understanding to knowledgeably discuss what in the world is even going on right now. What I do understand, though, is sentiment. And the two things are certainly not mutually exclusive.

Obviously the ‘book has seen quite the struggle as of late—it’s been at the center of a huge political scandal, and its users are rightfully ticked off about its failure to protect their privacy. Those two things are sort of just the tip of the iceberg.

But the privacy thing isn’t something users take lightly—it doesn’t seem like enough to make users quit the platform entirely, but they certainly don’t trust it. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found users’ faith in Facebook on the decline after the Cambridge Analytica scandal: Just 27 percent of respondents agreed that Facebook is committed to protecting their personal information.

screenshot privacy facebook search
People may not be ready to leave the platform just yet, but they sure don’t trust it.

Will users quit? Not likely. Statistics aren’t showing any kind of rapid account closures, and the concept of staying connected with family and friends on the already-established platform outweighs people’s concerns—a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly and even hold true myself.

But what does this mean for sellers of jewelry? If you’ve been paying for advertising on Facebook, things might change for you. In response to the breach, Facebook has updated its privacy controls to make it easier to delete data. It also plans to remove Partner Categories, a targeting solution that enables third-party data providers to target directly on the platform. So, for example, if you used to target potential customers based on their household income, say goodbye to that. Targeting will essentially become much less effective, thereby not necessarily getting you the new customers you’re looking for.

I wouldn’t rule out Facebook just yet. I think that, despite its troubles, we won’t see it go the way of the dodo bird just yet (or maybe ever?). I do, however, think that upping your marketing game on other platforms or focusing on ways to market your product without having to obtain user data will be a big win overall.

I would love to know how your experience has been with Facebook since all of this began. Are you finding that your customers or followers are taking to the ‘book as often as they used to? Does it feel like anything has changed? Sound off in the comments or email me—I’d be interested to see what sort of effect this has been having in the jewelry industry this early in the game.

(Top: Facebook HQ front sign via Facebook)