You’ve probably seen this hashtag multiple times on your Facebook feed over the past few months. What spurred this hashtag? Why did Elon Musk leave Facebook? Why is it such a big deal?
We’ve got the answers to all your questions.
On March 23rd, 2018 Elon Musk, one of the most influential technological entrepreneurs deleted his personal Facebook account, along with the Facebook pages of his two companies Space X and Tesla. The latter had around 2.5 million followers. Why would a page with 2.5 million followers exit Facebook?
Here’s what went down.
What actually happened
It was recently revealed that a consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, had harvested data from around 50 million users. The users claim that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign ads were shown as normal parts of their feeds prior to the election. And ever since a huge protest has started encouraging people to boycott the social media platform.
Facebook currently has 4 lawsuits against it- from users, board members and more. Its value has dropped by $50 billion. Board Members are seeking to get compensation for the 12 percent share drop since the start of the scandal.
Mark Zuckerberg has taken to traditional full page newspaper ads to apologize via multiple British and American Newspapers!
“I promise to do better for you,” said Zuckerberg.
And during this particularly bad week for Facebook, Elon Musk also deleted his Facebook account.
“It’s not a political statement and I didn’t do this because someone dared me to do it. Just don’t like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry”, he tweeted.
So what really happened was Brian Acton the co-founder of Whatsapp tweeted, “It’s time. #deletefacebook”, as a way to protest against the Facebook scandal.
To which Musk replied, “What’s Facebook?”
Was it really possible that Elon Musk had no idea what Facebook was? In this day and age, you pretty much have to live under a rock and last we checked Musk was living in a 248 square foot mansion in Los Angeles.
Someone decided to check if Musk was bluffing.
“Delete SpaceX page on Facebook if you’re the man.”, said @serdarsprofile.
To this Elon replied that he didn’t know that SpaceX had one and that he would delete it.
Following this Bryson Masse, a reporter at The Wire Report, attached a screenshot of the Tesla Motors Facebook page and said, “This should be deleted too right?”
To which Musk replied, “Looks lame anyways.”
A little later Elon Musk himself, one of the most respected tech figures of our time exited the biggest social media network there is, all because of a conversation he had on one of Facebook’s biggest competitors, Twitter.
Though he claims it wasn’t a political statement, you could still wonder why Facebook gives Elon Musk the willies.
Honestly, we don’t know either. Irrespective, the timing of the whole incident was off.
Why his move is causing a buzz
The fact that Elon Musk left Facebook is bad as it is – him leaving Facebook is all the more amusing because of an incident that took place in September 2016.
A Falcon 9 rocket to host Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org satellite exploded on the SpaceX launch pad during a pre-launch test fire. It destroyed Facebook’s dreams of providing space-based-internet coverage to sub-Saharan Africa.
“SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite.” said a “deeply disappointed” Zuckerberg, when asked about the incident. Further, adding to his dismay, Musk announced that he had launched two prototypes to test the same space-based internet technology just last month.
With all this tension in the past, Zuckerberg must not be too happy with the recent boycotting incidents. Before we raise our pitchforks and jump on the Boycott Bandwagon let’s understand why businesses have been disappointed with Facebook even before the Trump and Musk fiascos.
Why businesses have been considering leaving Facebook
Since January 2018, Facebook has been making significant changes to its algorithm, directly affecting how users discover and engage with Business Pages. Previously, organic reach would include timeline impressions. However, the new changes require users to engage with a post by clicking on it, liking it, sharing it etc. to be counted as Reach.
As reported by Social Samosa Facebook has also reassured page admins saying, “This update doesn’t change how your posts are delivered, or who sees and engages with your posts. This is an update to the way we measure organic reach, which may result in changes to the reported numbers for your Page.”
So technically, the algorithm change does benefit businesses since they can now get the true picture as far as organic reach is concerned. This only means that businesses must work harder to stay relevant and engage with their target audience.
Should YOU leave Facebook?
Eleven years ago, when Facebook launched Business pages, it seemed like a real God-send. Reaching out to your target audience and spreading the word about your product/service was made a whole lot easier, thereby bringing them closer to your brand and business.
It’s barely surprising that a platform like Facebook continues to evolve even years its launch. While the data breach incident is unquestionably worrisome, your decision to leave or stay on Facebook shouldn’t be affected by the changes to the algorithm or celebrity opinion. What you should consider instead, is whether you are able to add any value to your business through Facebook.
As a business owner or digital marketer, you have to stay on your toes and adapt to changes. You should also consider other social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin etc. to understand which one suits your business the best.
If you work hard to stay relevant and provide your target audience what they’re looking for, they will continue to follow your brand; irrespective of the platform you use.