WEB & TECH / FEB. 25, 2015
version 8, draft 8

The Economic Influence of Facebook 'Likes'

Poor you. You posted a picture of your bacon and leek frittata, and only got 50 ’likes’. You really shouldn’t have gotten any ’likes’, because posting food on Facebook is reprehensible. Facebook ’likes’ can translate into money, and here’s how.

Facebook Fans can Actually Influence Stock Value

I am not even joking here. A company’s stock value fluctuations can be forecasted by its Facebook fan count. Arthur O’Connor, a researcher with Pace University, found a significant correlation between companies’ Facebook popularity and the activity of their fans on the companies’ Facebook pages. As if the NSA and our exes stalking our Facebook profiles wasn’t enough, we’ll now have business consultants and marketers watching our every ’like’, too.

People are Making ‘Like’ Money

There have been numerous rumors surrounding the profitability of ‘likes.’ I’m sure we’ve all received a post in the vein of “Suzie is a 23 year old model. Due to genetics, she is tragically flat-chested and needs augmentation to be able to hold a job. Every 100 ‘likes’ she gets, her augmentation goes up a cup size.” I’m the only one who got that? Damn it! I knew spending two days creating 1000 fake accounts to give her likes was a waste of time. Anyway, there are companies (most in developing countries) that would have helped the tragically flat-chested Suzie gets the ‘likes’ she needed. Also known as ‘like farms,’ these companies are set up to give ‘likes’ in the hope of creating traction and popularity for your Facebook page. You pay them and they ‘like’ you. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work.

They’re Using Your Empathy for Illegal ’Likes’

These ‘like farms’ take it to a little more disturbing level than I might have led you to believe. You know those posts that pull at your heartstrings? The ones about infirmed children, homeless animals, victims of bullying, and flat-chested unemployed models? Well, those posts in many cases are bait for ‘likes’ set up by the ‘like farms’. Once the page dedicated to a heart-straining situation accumulates enough ‘likes,’ the ‘like farms’ will rework the page to promote another product or even sell it to someone that will do the same. If the new page promotes the benefits of FiveFinger shoes, then consider yourself lucky, because most of the time these pages are actually used to spread malware.

Facebook Helps

Facebook created a whopping $227 million in economic activity and 4.5 million jobs (according to a study by Deloitte and Touche). It has also shown that it fuels with its Facebook-powered ads a diverse suite of small businesses that sell anything from handicrafts to fitness attire. In addition, it has helped charitable causes promote themselves, as seen in the 100 million dollars donated to ALS. Remember that period last year when we were bombarded by people pouring ice water over their heads? You probably blocked it out after you started getting the nightmares that you were drowning in ice water. I’m by myself on that one, too?! Really?!

How does Facebook Really Make Money?

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Facebook’s biggest cash cow is marketing. It made an astounding $148 billion last year and created millions of jobs. Now, if they could only monetize Ex-Stalkers, they would be able to triple that.

Is there another way Facebook influences the economy? Then let me know in the comment section below.

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