A day might be coming when the power of Facebook means that major companies no longer bother with their own Web sites.
That was the startling if self-promotional possibility sketched out by Stephen Haines, commercial director of Facebook’s U.K. operation, while speaking today at the Technology for Marketing and Advertising conference here. Essentially, Haines argued, companies’ interactions with their customers could take place so often on Facebook that company Web sites would fall by the wayside.
To bolster his argument, Haines showed statistics comparing how many times Facebook users have clicked a company’s “like” button with how many times per month people visited that company’s Web site.
This is more than a little ridiculous for a few reasons.
For starters, comparing Facebook “Likes” with how many times per month someone visits a website makes no sense. A “Like” is a one-time event and while visiting a website can be, too, Haines is equating “Liking” something on Facebook with interacting with it — not so. Any Facebook page manager can tell you that pages pick up plenty of “fans” who are really just fans-in-title; in other words, they “Like” a page and then hide it from their news feed or just never interact with it (I’ll save the “why?” for another post someday).
Second, anyone who’s in the business of producing content and monetizing it — and that’s a lot of people — have no incentive to hand that content over to Facebook to share in the profit.
Lastly, not everyone uses Facebook and not everyone ever will. Even though pages let non-Facebook users view information on them, the average non-Facebook user is going to think “not for me” when they hear, “visit our Facebook page!”