Just a few days ago, small businesses all over Australia woke up to find that all their online content had disappeared.
The Australian government recently proposed a media law that would force large tech companies to pay news publishers. While Google had agreed through a compromise, Facebook did not respond too kindly to it. In response, Facebook had started blocking Australian news publishers from the platform. Although it targeted publishers, small and large businesses were also affected by the feud.
Many of these businesses found that their online presence has been restricted or pulled out from the platform entirely. Their pages have been reverted back to its simplest form, with just a profile in its wake.
These businesses, along with the publishers, are barred from even posting links to their posts. Similarly, international audiences are also unable to see news and content from Australia.
Unfortunately for small businesses, the platform has yet to iron out the specifics in what is deemed as ‘news’. Thus, content from businesses have been largely affected as well.
For those that have invested a large sum in Facebook marketing, this is a huge problem. Countless hours and money spent on digital marketing have been wasted.
Unlike Google who benefits from news headlines through searches, businesses are voluntarily posting their content because of the advantages the Facebook yields. It is for this reason that a lot of marketers are against the proposal. Some believe that demanding a platform to pay publishers is wrong, especially when these businesses benefit from having their content in the website.
However, some businesses have started to reconsider their digital marketing strategy.
“I think they are just bullies. They are shooting themselves in the foot,” says the owner of a small mum’s business.
“I spend my A$20,000 marketing budget to promote our content with Facebook.”
Although Facebook has agreed to lift the ban and return their content, this serves as a wake up call to everyone who has heavily invested their time and resources on the platform.
This issue has highlighted the dangers of a single platform monopolizing social media. Businesses are now looking at alternative websites to conduct their marketing strategy.