Fed Up with Facebook, Eat24 Pens a Breakup Letter

Some companies are angry about Facebook's News Feed algorithm changes, but only one is publicly leaving the network altogether.

Facebook regularly rankles users with redesigns and privacy policy changes, but lately the social network isn't very popular with businesses, either. Not many have publicly challenged News Feed algorithm tweaks that have buried their page updates and cut down exposure, but one company isn't taking the changes lying down.

Food delivery app Eat24 published a snarky public break-up letter to Facebook on its own blog over the weekend, announcing that it would deactivate its account on the network effective 11:59 p.m. Monday night.

"We'd love to say 'It's not you, it's us,' but it's totally you," the letter begins. "Not to be rude, but you aren't the smart, funny social network we fell in love with several years back. You've changed. A lot.

"When we first met, you made us feel special. We'd tell you a super funny joke about Sriracha and you'd tell all our friends and then everyone would laugh together. But now? Now you want us to give you money if we want to talk to our friends."

While Facebook hasn't officially announced any changes to how many people companies are able to reach with updates on their Facebook pages, reports indicate that reach has been cut to 1 to 2 percent of a brand's fans. A source told Valleywag that brands would have to pay up to reach more eyeballs, though updates are only pushed out to people who have actively liked a company's Facebook page.

Eat24 seemed to reference that new pay-for-exposure strategy in its goodbye letter. Other social networks like Twitter and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) show posts to anyone who follows the brand, so Eat24 is focusing its efforts there. The company left a little wiggle room in its letter to walk back its statement with a hesitant "who knows what'll happen between now and Monday" line, but a retort from Facebook in the comments of the blog might push Eat24 over the edge.

Facebook Director of Communications Brandon McCormick responded to the post:

"Hey Eat24, this is Brandon over at Facebook. I was bummed to read your letter. The world is so much more complicated than when we first met--it has changed. And we used to love your jokes about taquitos and 420 but now they don't seem so funny. There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends--really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space."

Facebook last year did tweak its News Feed algorithms to surface more high-quality content--the major life moments you want to see from your friends instead of low-quality articles and memes. And in January, the company said it would show fewer text-based status updates from brand pages in favor of updates with links and photos.

It's unclear if Eat24's principled stand will inspire other brands to follow suit--or if the company will follow through with its promise. We'll find out at 11:59 p.m.

This story, "Fed Up with Facebook, Eat24 Pens a Breakup Letter" was originally published by IDG News Service .

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