It’s easy to complain about the Facebook algorithm, that confusing, frustrating code that publishers, brands and bands live and die by. After all, show me someone who says they’ve never posted great content only to see it die a slow, sad death on social media and I’ll show you a liar. We’ve all been there.
But, no matter how fickle the algorithm may seem, it’s wrong to demonise it. Sure, it might be hard to track, requiring hours of careful study and trial-and-error experimentation – but that’s the point. If this shit were easy, anyone could excel at it: your grandmother could stroll into any major publishing company and challenge the most senior digital expert there.
The Facebook algorithm is simply a tool – a tricky tool to master, but a tool nonetheless. And however arbitrary it might sometimes seem, it isn’t. Throwing up your hands and blaming Facebook whenever you have a post that sinks is like blaming the clouds for the rain. It’s not that Facebook has failed you; it’s that you’ve failed Facebook.
Of course, Facebook is a company that needs to make money – they can do whatever the fuck they want. They could scrap the algorithm altogether tomorrow. They could shift their focus from video to stills. They could – as they have been threatening to do – create a tab that separates brand content from the main feed. They could carry out their threats to totally shift the way we publicise music on Facebook. We could all wake up tomorrow and discover that Facebook have changed their rules on copyrighted content, sponsored content, video content… Literally anything. And Facebook don’t have to give us a second of forewarning.