Every facebook account holder is regularly, if not several times a day, offered page content with evocative titles. However, in reality, the marketing strategies that these Facebook pages often deploy without any real content make the Internet using a pure product that needs to be taken up as much time as possible: your available brain time.
Facebook page sales, mergers and acquisitions
The trap can take many forms. Small pseudo-philosophical sentences on a rainbow background, an image of a cancerous person demanding a prayer, text that strongly encourage you to identify your friends on a funny clip, but more often than not: a video with very high buzz potential roughly copied and pasted from Youtube without source… All this is now part of our daily life on Facebook. What is less known, however, is that most of the pages behind these posts are far from being managed by ordinary users who would like to entertain us out of passion. It is now a real organized business that makes it possible to create small fortunes from our likes, without having to create any original content, without personal investment or real work.
There is facebook page trading, so a market with sellers and buyers of pages with their fans. Indeed, it has been possible for some time to merge pages, and thus to capitalize users of other pages. Thus, brands will want to fictitiously inflate their fans by buying pages, those personal pages with clickbait contents that raise us like cattle. Because these likes have very particular value because unlike fake Facebook accounts which are fictitiously used to inflate the number of fans, they are real people, potential consumers for the brands. Once the herd is large enough, the page is sold to the highest bidder.
The Facebook page buyback strategy is straightforward: thanks to hollow content, kitten images and other buzz videos stolen all over the web, the company capitalizes thousands (millions?) of fans on a page with the name “cool and nice.” Then this “empty shell” page is sold at gold prices on specialized trading sites. A customer buys the page, merges it with his company and capitalizes the fans. Sometimes, it is the same media that will practice the technique, multiplying almost similar pages and then merging them. Thus, a typical user may suddenly find himself following the page of a company he has never heard of before. Moreover, here is how in a few clicks, with a little money, a brand can win 50 000 or 100 000 more fans and claim to be one of the most significant communities on the web. All that remains is to place products to make one’s business grow on the backs of the cheated users without ever having created physical or intellectual wealth from one’s existence.
The commodification of everything and everyone
This practice, far from any elementary ethics, trivializes a new state of fact: the user of the social network becomes a pure commodity that is exchanged and sold. Worse still, the people most inclined to “like””fun and light” content are being categorized into ideal potential consumers and subjected to increasingly elaborate marketing strategies. In contrast, a person with a critical perspective on what he or she is supporting on the Internet, for example by avoiding liking this hollow content, will eventually have more restraint in terms of consumer incentives, which does not make him or her a very good customer (unless his or her specific “need” is targeted through the capture of private information, which is yet another problem). It reflects a poor image of the Internet and the modern world in general, which is becoming more and more embedded every day in the commercial logic where “real” and actual content is scarce and where the human being is only a commercial variable.