Eat24 has decided to leave Facebook. Not only are they leaving, they’ve penned a Dear Facebook letter to explain the reasons behind the break up.

Head over to Eat24 and click on the Facebook icon located in their social media navigation section at the top of the page. Read the A Breakup Letter to Facebook from Eat24 that it links to.

First it was the teens, now it’s the businesses who are beginning to walk away.

Where Eat24 brings humor to their frustration over Facebook’s changing algorithms and the resulting lower reach with their fan base, Facebook’s response brings questions about their PR acumen.

We’ve become accustomed to CEOs and other company representatives who have stuck the proverbial foot into the literal mouth (see past PR posts) and Facebook itself hasn’t historically been too good at brand messaging, but the comment below supposedly comes from a Director of PR Comms at Facebook.

When I first read it, my PR-tea sense prevented me from 100% accepting the comment as legitimate. Facebook is supposed to “get” social. It’s PR folks definitely should know better than the comment below suggests.

Mistakes are made everyday though. Whether the comment below is legit or not however, the repercussions from not understanding or taking seriously your user’s concerns speak volumes. Eat24 after all, is not the only business concerned with decreasing reach on Facebook – it just so happens to have humorously provided us with a look at their frustration.

That comment, supposedly from a Facebook PR Director, is being referenced in other sites including CNN, re/code, and Adweek among others.

Even if that PR message was not legitimate, its spread across social media and mainstream media is a blurp that could have been prevented.

If Facebook had reached out to Eat24 in a sincere user-centric way, some of the backlash could have been avoided.

Of course, there’s that ever changing Facebook newsfeed algo that businesses still need to contend with.

That makes about as much sense as getting a pepperoni pizza and only one slice has pepperoni on it.
Eat24

Something else that every site and social media platform should consider is this concern from Eat24:

Honestly, we’re kinda hurt that you’ve changed so much. We hardly recognize you with all the facelifts you had. Take a look back. You’ve changed your look more times than Madonna. Seriously. It’s not that we don’t like change, it’s just super annoying that you decide to increase banner dimensions by 5 pixels for no reason.

Stakeholders involved in site refreshes, redesigns, UI, UE, branding, product dev, PM, A/B testing, blah blah blah need to read the message above more than once.

It’s not that users don’t like change, it’s that change is often seen and experienced through the extra clicks, the reduced privacy, the cloning of bad UI decisions from other platforms, the additional time, effort and dollars to adjust to new layouts, the feature changes that diminish a platform’s original “it” factor and identity, and other user experience breaking decissions that are forced on users via late hour facelifts springing out of dingy marketeze clouded spreadsheets.

While we’re fans of Twitter, no social media site is incapable of making bad decisions. Even Twitter is working on a facelift that may turn off more of it’s original fan base. We hope that Eat24’s story, gives Twitter a reason to pause and reflect though.

With all the money that Facebook can put into PR, the message that will be remembered is the one that is delivered by it’s users and former users.

We hope that Facebook is listening.

For businesses concerned about what approach to take for their social media budgets, my recommendation is simple:

Don’t put all your eggs into one Facebasket.

Share your story on other social media sites. Let TeazMedia know if you need a little help getting your social story out there. We enjoy conversations over tea – wherever that story is.

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