Twitter'daki politikacılar için çok aksi bir hafta geçirdik. Önce #Budget2014 etiketi Britanya bütçesinin açıklanışına eş zamanlı damgasını vurdu ve akabinde gelen #ToryBingo trendi devam ettirdi. Ardından yerel sseçimlerin hemen evvelinde hakkında çıkan yolsuzluk iddialarının sosyal medyada bolca paylaşılması endişesiyle yakın zamanların en talihsiz politik kararlarından birine imza atan Türkiye Başbakanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, "Twitter'in kökünü kazıma" vaadini dün gece gerçekleştirdi.
It's been an awkward week for politicians on Twitter. Firstly the #Budget2014 hashtag took a swift kick at Britain's new budget in real-time and lead to the immensely popular #ToryBingo follow-up. Then in one of the most poorly advised moments of censorship in recent memory, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan followed through on his vow to "Wipe out Twitter" last night after a volley of recordings were leaked, raising questions of corruption within the government ahead of elections.
Bu girişimin olası etkileri oldukça ağır olabilir zira Türkiye'nin internet kullanıcılarının %39'u Twitter kullanıyor. Neyse ki yasaklama büyük ölçüde hükümsüz zira pek çok site bu soruna geçici çözümlerini yayınladılar ve bu da diğer kullanıcılarca dolaşıma sokuldu. Ben de Anonymous, Twitter ve Electric Frontier Foundation'dan kopyaladığım yöntemleri bu yazıya ekliyorum.
The move had massive potential impact because 39% of internet users in Turkey use Twitter. The ban has however been (thankfully) largely ineffective due to a couple of widely published workarounds which I've embedded and copied bellow via Anonymous, Twitter and the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Alternate DNS: Address: 184.108.40.206
Alternate browser: https://www.torproject.org/
Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.
I've worked in social media now for a decade, I've seen first hand every great shift. From brick and mortar high-street retail to the rise and narrowing of eCommerce. From newsgroups and IRC to Java chatrooms to Friendster. From Yahoo pool to World of Warcraft to every console being designed with social sharing elements. From a time when nobody knew what anyone looked like to a time where everyone has seen everyone else semi-naked within four minutes of looking at their public facing social media profiles. It's been messy but enjoyable.
Everyone saw the Myspace to Facebook migration coming. People got mad about the increasing number of adverts and diminishing number of interactions with friends and family, then Rupert Murdoch purchased it and it went in the bin with such speed that ITV probably thought their Friends Reunited purchase looked comparatively wise.
With the most recent news feed algorithm and advertising changes, Facebook is increasingly staring down the barrel of its own irrelevance. Ignite recently reported that organic reach for branded pages on Facebook was now about 3%. In short, if you aren't paying to promote content then it's not going to be seen, even by the people who like your profiles. However, there is a massive audience on Facebook and more than enough companies who will directly pay to promote content, or following in the footsteps of my social media psychology slide deck, will put together really awful content that holds attention for just long enough to be attractive to share (and ring in some squids from the diverted traffic)
The algorithm changes also now mean more links to external sites are promoted in consumer news feeds. This morning I surveyed the first 40 items in my feed and found 24 were links to external sites, viral images or adverts. Glancing now for a refresher finds 13 of the top 20 are currently external articles or adverts, of the remaining 7 one is a profile picture update, five are text updates short enough for Twitter and one is a happy birthday message.
Does this make me want to spend longer on Facebook? Nah. Does this make me want to return more often? To be honest, right now it does, but only out of disbelief and hope that things will rock back the other way.
Facebook's problem is that it was massively successful. It managed to dig its way in as a primary communications channel for people to talk to their family and friends, then as brands realised they wanted to interact with people in that space it started to bloat. Once Facebook became profitable and everyone had an invisible average revenue per user sliced against their profile picture, it became inevitable that eventually the user value to exterior companies would overtake their interests in providing a pleasurable user experience. As a result, as Facebook becomes a discovery platform the conversation element is moving to services like WhatsApp and Telegram, while you're more likely to find your sister's baby photos on Instagram than your news feed.
This could well be the start of the tipping point for Facebook and recognition that the high-water mark for the service is in the past. It's not just brands who've seen crashing deterioration in their organic reach and engagement, but the average user too, as less and less of their personal content gets cut through amongst the Mail Online links.
Facebook was at one point a major driver in the push for social media to be seen as a modern communications tool comparable to mobile phones, email and instant messaging. Now however it's fast becoming one of those channels on satellite that have 6 minute long ad breaks every 15 mins of program and show live QVC style auctions till midday and live dial-in roulette from midnight. None of which are attractive to us who just want to watch Buffy repeats.
If I was asked today to advise a small company with no marketing budget who were looking at which platforms to use for their first steps into social, I'd have to think long and hard about recommending they open a Facebook profile. Similarly if someone asked me if they should sign-up for a personal profile today, I'd probably advise them to save their time and flick through imgur, BuzzFeed, UpWorthy, Mail Online and ViralNova instead. Oh, and gave their mum a call.