Last night Facebook changed some of the terminology on Spot On PR’s Facebook page. It’s something that has been talked about for the past few weeks (see Mashable story from March) and is being rolled out across Facebook and organisation’s Facebook pages. As a result, this morning our Facebook page fans are no longer called Fans, Facebook users no longer click “Become a Fan” to join our Facebook page and the section of the Wall dedicated to Fans now says “Others”.
Apparently this is an attempt by Facebook to provide “a simple, consistent way for people to connect with the things they are interested in” and lower the perceived commitment for Facebook users to follow organisation’s Facebook pages (i.e. users no longer have to consider themselves a “fan” to follow a page’s content). Having worked with technology for the past 15 years, we know that terminology isn’t always perfect the first time around, can change quite often and any new terminology takes a while to get accepted. However, we’re going to miss our fans.
We also disagree with Facebook’s decision to foist this on page owners without consultation or consent. Spot On PR is on Facebook for business networking purposes. We like the fact that we can associate with Facebook users that share similar interests and careers to ourselves and we liked the fact that becoming a fan of our Facebook page made people consider what was in it for them before joining. I like many different things and people, but I don’t want daily updates from all of them. The “Like” button now seems to attribute the same level of commitment to joining a Facebook page as it does to liking a blog post or video that you “Like” in your Facebook News Stream. That doesn’t seem right to us.
Nor does calling our fans “Others” as they are termed on the Wall of our Facebook page, which now shows tabs for “Spot On Public Relations + others”, “Just Spot On Public Relations”, or “Just others”. It seems that Facebook no longer wants us to engage and entertain our Fans, but with “Others”. In fact, it’s now not clear how page fans should be referred to. Likes? Likers? Others? Lumping fans in with “Others” is a mistake in our opinion.“Others” implies people or things unknown and that used to be the difference between ourfans and the others (the old others that is, not the new others!).
Thanks to all our Facebook fans and we hope that you continue to