Why Artists Are Turning Their Backs on Facebook
Street art graffiti artists have been leaving Facebook and concentrating on their Instagram profiles for the last few years. Unhappy with the intrusive manner in which Facebook admins and community handle their content. It’s become commonplace for group / page admins or content creators to download artists photographs and repost to their own communities without links back to the artists or credit for the content.
In all fairness finding the author of a photograph that’s been reshaped, re-cropped and renamed can be a little challenging at times. The editors at LSD Magazine have been caught wanting themselves over the decade we’ve posted content from the internet. We shifted strategy years ago on Facebook, rather than download other peoples content, we mostly share directly, which usually sees a huge increase in driven traffic, new followers and likes. We tend to only share regenerated content if it has links back to the artist rather than another page.
We started a Sharing is Caring Fridays campaign where we shared anyones page on our platform, regardless of how good they were or how many followers they had. It continued for years and entire sub-communities were formulated using this method. Where Facebook were pushing for ads or boosting posts, LSD Magazine was giving them a good kickstart without spending any cash whatsoever. You can see where the art world and commerce collide, translating in long page loading times and sharing wasn’t as fluid as it once was. Sharing is Caring Fridays became longwinded laborious tasks and only half the content was shared during the same time period.
Worst still in the last six months we’ve seen a huge decline in the number of people following the page. We were stuck between 560,000 and 571,000 followers for months, the stats shows over 1,500 new people a week, yet if you check the numbers today, its 569,464. Facebook unsubscribing people without their knowledge or permission was brought to our attention by dozens of artists that re-subscribed. Living under the threat of being banned from your own group / page because someone reported content they didn’t like can be testing to say the least. You login into your account and Facebook fires up a notification alerting you that the page has been restricted and you have no access until further notice. You have to jump through a series of hoops and the final decision is left at their discretion. Having spent ten years building the page this can be a tad stressful.
This isn’t restricted to LSD Magazine, the effects of this strategy can be felt across this platform and other social media platforms such as YouTube. Instagram is currently providing the simplicity that artists need in these chaotic times. It might be the less of two evils but in terms of reaching our desired audience, Instagram is proving invaluable to a great many people. All platforms have their trolls, where Facebook appears to have more paid trolls than other networks. Personally speaking we’ve spent way too much time building the Facebook page under threat of closure so this could be the moment to switch focus to Instagram.