I am not joking.
Not that anyone would ever accuse Facebook of self-centered, self-interested propagandizing, of course not. I simply accuse them of stupidity.
The written word began somewhere around 3200 BC in Mesopotamia. I’m not great at math, but that puts its life somewhere around 4,800 years. Not much when you compare it to the age of the earth at 4.5 billion, but nothing to sneeze at when you compare it to Facebook’s life at 12. Seriously.
Of course, I am using a heavy layer of sarcasm. Facebook’s statement was about the written word on their platform. Ann Handley did a fantabulous job in her post on the subject, picking apart exactly why that is an absurd prediction.
But shockingly, I have even more to say, and not simply because I’m a writer. I rarely write about writing – I think experts like Handley do such a good job of that I don’t need to. I love the written word, obviously, because I chose to make it the center of how I make my living. My main motivation is the deep respect and admiration I have for small business and my fear that too many of them may actually listen to Facebook’s asininity.
If you are trying to reach anyone on the web for any reason, consider:
The power of the written word. There is a reason that Maya Angelou is more revered than all of the live streaming “stars” put together. How often have you heard someone say “He’s so powerful on video?” The reason those gurus still try their damnedest (and some actually PAY) to become bestselling authors and use that moniker on every bit of collateral they have is because it carries much more integrity than “YouTube star.”
Email marketing has a 4,300% ROI. And guess what? Most email marketing does not include video. Instead, it is short, direct, personally tailored text, and arrives right into the consumer’s inbox, which is their preferred method of being contacted by brands.
Facebook itself, with its 1.5 billion plus user base, was built on text. Of course, it included images, but how many Facebook debates do you think will take place using warring video? If you’ve ever hosted a Google+ or Blab series with 4 or more people you know that sometimes moderating the discussion is like herding cats. With text, there is some semblance of linearity to the discussion.
Millennials love text. As a matter of fact, we all do. Text has grown as a favored form of communication for personal use. Now, can you imagine replacing those succinct texts with video? Say you’re driving or busy multi-tasking, what’s more annoying, reading a text or stopping to play a video? What about when you’re at work? How many of you sneak on Facebook but would never, ever think of clicking on a video for fear of being found out.
Obviously, Facebook didn’t think this through. Or they did, and they’re trying to push advertising dollars into their shiny new tactic. Now, I don’t want to accuse them on disingenuousness, but if the shoe fits…
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