Why we don't use Facebook

Since launching Zevvle, one of the common questions we get asked is “What are you doing for marketing?”, which quickly turns to our ‘social media strategy,’ and by that they mean what are we doing on Facebook.


We have 2 reasons; both may be flawed, but we’re sticking this one out:

We don’t trust them

We wouldn’t use a supplier that we distrusted as much as Facebook. They have an appalling track record of exploiting user data (here, here, here, here, etc.) and we don’t want to be part of it.

While governments are fumbling around to reign them in, their start-up motto of ‘move fast and break things’ has gone several steps too far. We believe when technology develops quicker than regulation, companies have a responsibility to support, and not undermine, the fabric of society.

Reach is declining

Many businesses rely almost entirely on Facebook for their marketing. However, between February 2012 and March 2014 organic reach on brand pages declined by 60%. While the drop hasn’t been as sharp since, it continues to go down. There is no doubt Facebook can be an effective marketing tool, but it can also become a crutch and stifle our creativity elsewhere. We’d rather spend our time writing notes to all new customers than optimise for their algorithms.

Reaching People – The Oatmeal

We like email; it’s the one form of electronic communication where both sender and receiver are in control. No engineer will limit our reach when they decide to drive ad sales by restricting the number of people who see what we post. We’re just up against spam filters, and we better send you something worth reading.

So why are we even talking about this? Because by using them, there’s the hope and expectation of financial returns for Zevvle. Contrast that to a billing supplier where you’re paying for a hidden, reliable service (although we don’t use one). Beyond getting a good price, it’s not distorted by the possibility of making more money.

Why is Twitter OK?

Well… let’s go with ‘less bad.’ It’s about having conversations with anyone (who’s on Twitter), and not so much an Orwellian platform to keep tabs on people. However, one notable travesty is the mob mentality where people pile on and attack someone or something. Twitter doesn’t always get it right, and we may not always use it, but for now it’s a great, 2-way communication channel.

Should everyone leave Facebook?

Probably not. Facebook is really good for connecting people, and it owns two of the most popular messaging platforms; WhatsApp and Messenger. Getting away from it is hard, and cutting yourself out of a social circle might not be worth the privacy concerns.

We hope our governments will regulate these unfettered tech giants to ensure user data is better protected and mis-information is harder to spread. Until then, we’ve decided to not use Facebook or its products, including Instagram.

Tim Goodall