The birth of a new social media platform – Furiends

As per my previous post there has been a huge uproar on Facebook among the pet owner community as Facebook started deleting pet profiles.  One interesting result from this has been the birth of a new social media network, Furiends, set up by the owner of a dog whose profile was deleted from Facebook.  So far it looks great, and mirrors the Facebook functionalities – and it has been designed specially for all the pets whom Facebook has rejected.

There are a number of interesting elements here.  Firstly there is the fact that, yet again, Facebook has demonstrated a total lack of interest in what its users, and in this case a particularly active bunch of users, want.  It has ignored the petitions and the pleas.  It has also failed, as per usual, to communicate any clear reasoning behind this latest move.  It never fails to amaze me that a business built up on user engagement and relationships fails so miserably to engage and respect relationships.  It is rather noteworthy, IMHO, that the Facebook Facebook page does not allow for people to post directly to the wall but only comment on posts. I would have thought that Facebook of all the companies out there should have this functionality enabled to encourage the engagement on which it has been built.

The second noteworthy thing here is that pet owners, through their pet profiles, are a particularly active and engage group of users.  One of the reasons I tend to use Don’s Facebook page over my own is not only that it is more fun and interesting but also because people still engage, comment and have conversations on Facebook.  Some people argue that this is one of the signs of Facebook’s “beginning of the end” – the fact that people are no longer as active and as engaging as they used to be.  People are now splitting their time across platforms – each of which competes for a slice of our time and engagement.  Yet here is a group who blows engagement numbers through the roof! This group posts daily, comments can run into double numbers on a regular basis – just for a “bog standard” post.

This point leads into the next point – that from a revenue point of view you surely want to encourage people to stay on your platform and visit as often as possible.  You want to encourage these sorts of loyal followers – and not through them off!  When you are seeing other groups becoming less active you want to do all you can to encourage the groups that are still highly active.  You want to listen to them and make them feel welcome – not start shutting their accounts down.

The final point is that behind the pet profiles you have owners who are willing to spend money on their pets.  You have a clearly labelled audience who are sitting on your platform and who are open to spending money for their pets.  Given that one element of Facebook’s revenue generation is advertising and that the more accurately targeted the advert the better one would have thought were you have a group with a very clear, stated interest would be a god-send to Facebook.  I know from personal experience but also from many, many interactions with other pet owners and “pets” on Facebook that we are interested in seeing adverts for pet products and we are interested in buying pet products over the internet.  The only adverts I ever really click on are when they are accurately targeted at me – and on Don’s page they invariable are not!  Don’s adverts seem to be a random selection of adverts for men (Don is masculine so I get that) and other bizarre stuff (like a recent add in Arabic for some film festival).  If they were targeted at what Don really is – a cat – chances are I would not only click on them but also buy the odd thing too.

Rather than removing pet accounts, and alienating their owners in the process and cut off a potentially lucrative revenue stream, why doesn’t Facebook just simply introduce a “pet” tick box and actually enable, and encourage, pet owners to be open and engage even more on Facebook?  Instead what has happened is that Facebook has enraged a large, and active group of highly engaged and passionate users.  It has closed a door on an opportunity that now lies open for Furiends to grab with both paws.

Furiends has been set up as a refuge for all these Facebook refugees – set up not to make money but to welcome, with open arms this community.  To provide a safe refuge for these highly engage, committed and loyal group.  This is a social media network that is founded on the pure principles of engagement, based on the elements that make social media so special.  It is a network that is very open and human in it’s about us section – apologising that it is set up by one person and there will be problems.  It is a network that is actively asking its users for input – and I am sure will be reacting to this input.

I am honoured to have been here for the birth of this network, and I am excited to be part of something that potentially will be fantastic, and finally provide something other than Facebook for me and my friends.  I also think, if this small network reaches out to all of us pet owners, and asks for help, we can build up a great platform, with a steady revenue stream, and a very happy, engaged user group.  I have been a very loyal Facebook user for years (after all I do have two accounts!) but I think finally I have to join on the bandwagon that says Facebook has had its day.   It is time for the next generation to grab the opportunities that big networks like Facebook are ignoring, and I am happy to be part of one of these communities.

 

Over a 1000 users by day 2

Over a 1000 users by day 2

 

 

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About pharmaguapa

I am an highly experienced independent consultant specialised in digital media marketing and strategy in the pharmaceutical industry.

Posted on September 8, 2013, in Facebook, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. THANK YOU for putting our thoughts down in a coherent manner!! We have been so hurt and insulted by our mistreatment at Facebook that we were actually flabbergasted! We joined FB years ago, too, as Gizmacchio Peoples Sr. / Event Planner Extraordinaire – for Pets Only…and have formed many Groups as well as hosted numerous Events (Parties, Weddings, Memorials, etc.) and have made countless pics for others!

    Early in the morning on August 30, 2013, we came online to a message saying yada yada yada MAKE A PAGE! (I have kicked myself every day for not copying that message…instead we just did what we were told…and we never saw our “real” page again!)

    Facebook does not make it very easy to actually reach them, but we did try to email them – we received a generic response with lots of “if you need help” links.

    You have pretty well summed up everything we have said and thought about what has happened, and just wanted you to know that we agree with you wholeheartedly! Why ANY business would turn away a whole target market, when they could promote it to advertisers, is beyond us, too.

    Like you, we decided that it was a clear sign: time to move on!

    Thanks!
    Linda Martin-Peoples
    Gizmacchio Peoples Sr.

  2. This article has a lot of very valid and important information. I, as a human, have joined Furiends because many of my “pet friends” have been deleted by Facebook.

    I guess it’s not just that they were deleted, it’s that many lost countless pictures and videos. That certainly was not necessary. Facebook could have easily given them a warning and let them back up their page first. It’s very sad.

    I also am very upset that I lost comments from my “pet friends” that meant a good deal to me. Once the profile disappeared, them comments did as well.

    I’m glad there is a social network like Furiends!!!!

  3. We are LOVING the furiends.com !!! Some of us ‘pet’s on facebook have thousands of friends, and once we started posting furiends.com … some were hesitant at first, others jumped right over and soon hundreds followed!!!

    We love that the coders Lance and Julie will chat right with us! Speaking of, once the members rose, they instantly started adding features and have gotten on a new server to handle the load. This is much appreciated and we feel so ‘welcomed’!!!!!

    I want to personally thank Princess Itty Bitty who is a long time myspace / facebook / BFFL who sent me the link first!

    There are a lot of furiends still over at facebook who feel they will … ride out the storm … I am actually happy with the change to furiends.com … I never liked facebook set up so much and was so impersonal … being able to somewhat ‘decorate’ our furiends.com page is a HUGE bonus! and being able to use .gif’s again … HUGE !!! I was one of the last pets to leave myspace to go to facebook … but I was not going to make that mistake again … I am proudly one of the first of my furiends to start a new profile on furiends.com !!! I still do have my pet page on facebook too … but have all my pictures backed up on my hard drive and jump drives since the threat of deletion started.

    ALL IN ALL … CHANGE IS ALWAYS GOOD ! And it’s so nice to be listened to by the coders and know that they are indeed pet lover’s too !!!

    THANK YOU FURIENDS.COM !!

    Leslie Pristera Lee
    My teacup yorkie baby girl / page : LEXI LEE

    xoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Thank you for your comment. I also have to say a big thank you to the awesome team over at Furineds.com they have done a truly amazing job – and yes it is great to feel wanted and to be listened to! I think the personalisation of the pages is very very cool – and Don’s page is definitely going to be a makeover when I have a moment (but first task is to back all his stuff up before Facebook kicks him off too!). I think some pets are riding out the storm simply because they have so much history over on Facebook so it is up to those of us who have moved to really make them feel welcome and feel that it is worth starting over – and not living in fear of logging in one day to find you have been deleted!

  4. Cool article & SO true. That’s what I can’t understand, why didn’t they have to the brains to just give us our own part of FB? The “pet” box!!

  5. I am on Furriends because I want to support the animal friends who were deleted on Face Book! I am so tired of them getting booted because they are animals! When the nasty abusive pages are allowed to stay there!

  6. Aidan Donovan, cat .....

    And does Facebook realize how much money these “pet” pages spend on games? Money that goes to Facebook? I know that many of my friends have spent thousands on Yoville alone over the years. That’s thousands of dollars that Facebook will now be losing.

  7. Wow! So many great comments! In view of the fact that most of us have been at FB for years, you would think they could have at least shown us the courtesy of allotting us a week to a month to get our stuff straight…or at least choose which Profile we wanted to keep up! What would it have taken…a Notice? I wonder who at FBHQ made this “executive decision” for mass extinction…and who ok’d it??? Geez! Incredible!!! I also wonder why I have not seen any news coverage of this? It’s been over 2 weeks now! Is this only important to US??? If anyone sees anything on it, please leave links here, k? FANKS!!! Gizzy

    • Great point. I think this is one of the issues is that people have had these accounts for years and all of a sudden the profile, all the content and contacts is gone from one day to the next and this is heartbreaking. And yes I agree – being given a choice between accounts would be great – I for one for example would choose Don’s profile over my own.

  8. Agree 100%. I spent over a year working on my parrot’s page “Little Bob”.
    People all over the globe loved him and one day this week we were given option to “convert” or die. Not happy at all with how FB handled this

  9. Thanks for the mention. We are now almost 4,000 members in less than a month. I am working behind the scenes to promote the site everywhere I can. When I came across this I was tickled. Any way anyone on the site feel free to look me up and furiend me. PUN INTENDED.

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