Three billion people are on Facebook.
However, Facebook is widely criticized. Are all the naysayers wrong?
Do you know the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook?
As a social media user, you want to know when you’re getting yourself into when you use a social media site.
The political season is upon us in the United States, and Facebook is more criticized than ever.
Therefore, the time is right for us to examine the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook
- Advantages of Facebook
- Make Money
- Keep up with Friends and Family
- Find Like-Minded Thinkers
- Find Like-Minded Content Creators
- Share Other People’s Work
- Start Your Own Group
- Facebook is Informative
- Extend Your Social Media Presence
- Cross Promotion
- Lead Generation
- Make Phone Calls
- You Can Blog
- Self-Promotion is Allowed
- Update: March 2020
- Facebook’s Response to Coronavirus
- Disadvantages of Facebook
- Facebook has been caught selling users’ private data.
- Facebook still collects money for political ads.
- Messenger for Kids Scandal
- Fake Facebook Profiles
- Is Facebook a Monopoly?
- Facebook Instills Apprehension
- No Longer the Best Place to Work
- Algorithms are Biased
- Social Media is Addicting
- Social Media Sites are Subject to Change
- Wrapping Up: Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook
This post will offer 16 advantages of using Facebook and 10 disadvantages.
Are you ready to learn the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook? Let’s dive in.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook
Advantages of Facebook
If you’re looking for a way to market your blog content, there isn’t a better way than Facebook groups.
Many Facebook groups with tens of thousands of people allow you to promote daily and others allow weekly promotions.
There are Facebook groups for any niche imaginable.
For example, I’ve been in Facebook groups for Californians, mid-lifers, Pinterest lovers, Instagram lovers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs…
You can have a limited number of shortcuts in your left sidebar to easily access these groups.
According to the Buffer podcast, three social media sites will lead the way in the area of ecommerce in 2020: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Why should you be left out in the cold?
Your Facebook Business Page is a great way to market your content, goods, and services.
You can use this vehicle to let interested people know about sales, new products, product updates, and testimonials from happy users.
The best part: You can put all this on your Facebook page instead of your Facebook wall where it might look spammy.
So many people are making money with targeted Facebook Ads, I predict paying to promote will be more popular in 2020.
As indicated above, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are expected to lead the way when it comes to shopping at social media sites.
More Financial Opportunities
Social media marketing is a powerful way to make money. For example, I’ve sold my ebooks on Facebook.
Ironically, I was reluctant to promote my latest ebook on my Facebook wall for fear it would look spammy. However, there was great interest.
Many people write me on my Facebook Business Page and offer me money to be able to write on my blog.
I’ve received financial opportunities on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn as well as Facebook.
Keep up with Friends and Family
Although you might think this obvious advantage of using Facebook and any social media site might go without saying, using social media to stay in touch with friends and family should be uppermost.
So many stories of happy reunions occur on Facebook.
For example, I’ve heard stories of families separated at birth that found each other on Facebook.
Other happy reunions between people who find each other on Facebook are routinely in the news.
Mark Zuckerberg connected humanity on this site. According to 2017 statistics, there were over 7.5 billion people on Earth. Three billion use Facebook. That is a staggering statistic.
Find Like-Minded Thinkers
You can use Facebook to find people who support the causes you believe in.
A California law implemented in January of 2020 penalizes companies for hiring California writers who don’t reap the benefits their other staff members do.
For this reason, California freelance writers made a Facebook group, California Freelance Writers United.
Also, when Robert Mueller investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook users who supported Mueller formed a group called Robert Mueller Fans Page.
Once, I read of a couple, the husband a staunch Republican and the wife a devoted Democrat. When the political fight fest became too much for their marriage, the husband told the wife to take to social media.
She found like-minded thinkers on social media and their marital bliss was reinstated.
Although these examples are all political in nature, people come together for many reasons on Facebook on both pages and in groups.
Find Like-Minded Content Creators
Use Facebook to network your blog.
You don’t have to blog in isolation.
Many of the blogging friends I’ve made over the years I’ve met and routinely interact with on Facebook.
You can network in private groups, public groups, on people’s walls in the comments section, and on Facebook business pages.
Share Other People’s Work
Bloggers may share your writing if you share theirs.
Social media is reciprocal in nature.
People forget this and believe social media is all about taking.
Did you read the screenshot?
If so, you see that I was mentioned in the post, and then notified on Facebook when the admin promoted it.
I then shared his post which extends his reach. Win-win.
You have a choice of sharing to all these places.
Start Your Own Group
If you’d like, you can start your own Facebook group.
There are several advantages to this.
First, if your blog offers a paid membership, you can give premium members an exclusive invitation to join a private Facebook group.
Next, I was asked on Quora where 70 people who didn’t enjoy their LinkedIn group should network.
I recommended Facebook. If they wanted the group to be private to just the 70 of them, starting a group would give them that option.
Here are the directions for starting your own Facebook group:
Click New Group.
Name your group and search for people to add.
Start typing your message at the bottom of the screen. When you click Send, everyone in the group will see it and can communicate.
Facebook is Informative
People promote interesting and educational articles on Facebook.
Let’s look again at the screenshot:
Vishwajeet Kumar shared a tutorial about how to remove the date and time from comments in WordPress.
I didn’t know that was possible before I saw his post.
Whether people share on their wall, their page, in Stories, or in Live Videos, you’ll learn a great deal on Facebook from people in your niche.
Use these articles as references for your blog posts. Comment on them and grow your following through networking.
Ads for products of interest to me pop up.
For example, I see ads for SEMRush, an SEO tool, and ads for email vendors, both tools a blogger would need.
You can conduct a fundraiser on Facebook or donate to someone else’s fundraiser.
Extend Your Social Media Presence
Facebook allows you to have a wider social media presence.
For example, you can go live using Facebook Live or you can put a recorded video on Facebook.
You can have Stories as well as posts on your wall and on your page.
Since you are able to use these methods to establish yourself as an authority in your niche on Facebook, these methods help with branding.
When you promote using Instagram Stories, if you set up the connection, the Stories appear on Facebook.
I put this Story on Instagram. Since I set up the connection between Instagram and Facebook, the Story is in both places.
I took this screen capture from Facebook even though I never put my Story there.
This saves you time only having to promote in one place and extends your reach on both Instagram and Facebook.
There are many tools that save you time promoting to Facebook.
Are you familiar with IFTTT (If This, Then That)? When you set up connections, your promotions occur.
For example, I made a connection between WordPress and Facebook.
When I publish, my WordPress blog content gets published to my Facebook Page. See this tutorial about IFTTT for bloggers.
Buffer and Hootsuite are schedulers that will promote your blog content to Facebook.
You can use Facebook to generate leads.
On your Facebook business page, you can have a signup form for your blog. Email addresses people enter will go to your email list.
This is your Facebook Page menu. Look at all these features.
See this additional information on generating social leads.
Make Phone Calls
Did you know you can make phone calls on Facebook?
My technical helper in England, Phillip Dews, calls me on Facebook all the time.
If I wanted to call Phillip, I would go to his Profile and Click Message to start a new message with him.
To make a phone call, click the phone icon.
Phone calls on Facebook are free.
You Can Blog
Since Facebook doesn’t have a character count limitation like Twitter, you can put as much text as you want on your home page or on your wall.
If you want to add an image, just click “Photo.”
Self-Promotion is Allowed
Unlike on Reddit, no one will call you a spammer if you promote your content, services, or sales.
Tools even make promoting on Facebook easy.
Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and IFTTT as mentioned earlier.
Due to the disadvantages of Facebook mentioned in the next section, many people steer away from promoting on Facebook.
You are wasting a valuable resource if you agree with them.
This screenshot from Google Analytics shows my social traffic for the last month of December when the blogosphere is usually quiet.
You can see during the quietest time of the year, around the holidays, Facebook provided almost 40% of all my social traffic.
If you want to generate blog traffic, you should use Facebook, plain and simple.
Update: March 2020
Facebook’s Response to Coronavirus
Facebook has risen to the Coronavirus challenge.
I find it personally heartwarming to read about the help Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team are offering in response to the Coronavirus.
First, Zuckerberg has forbidden sales of potentially helpful Coronavirus products to avoid price scalping which takes advantage of scared people.
For example, Zuckerberg has banned sales of face masks on his site. Since the disease is not airborne, people will waste their money on a product that won’t help.
Next, Zuckerberg is offering warnings, helpful advice, and resources to find more factual information about the virus.
Considering Facebook was accused of spreading misinformation during the 2016 U.S. presidential election through the sale of Russian-bought ads, making sure only factual information gets disseminated can only help Facebook’s reputation.
Facebook users see this resource when logging into their accounts.
Finally, Facebook has launched a fundraiser. When people contribute to the efforts to fight the virus, Facebook will match all contributions up to 10 million dollars (Source).
People are speculating this will restore some of the goodwill Facebook lost (see disadvantages of Facebook, below).
Disadvantages of Facebook
Facebook has been caught selling users’ private data.
According to Wikipedia,
“The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of peoples’ Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes.”
This scandal caused Facebook’s stock to plummet.
In March of 2020, it was reported that Facebook admits keeping tabs on your search data, but will make recommendations based on that content that you might enjoy viewing going forward.
Facebook plans on making those recommendations based on your search history which it collects.
Facebook still collects money for political ads.
After Russia infiltrated the United States election in 2016, Twitter stopped accepting money for political ads.
However, Facebook continues to do so.
Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg’s employees were so outraged that he continues to accept political advertising money, they petitioned him to stop?
He defended his actions by claiming the First Amendment to the United States Constitution of Free Speech justifies accepting the ad money.
However, his employees rejected that argument insisting that free speech and political speech don’t deserve the same protections (Source).
Messenger for Kids Scandal
Did you notice this app is for ages 4 and up?
Apparently, with this app, parents get to approve who networks with their children.
However, due to a glitch in the app, children networked with people their parents never approved (Source).
Fake Facebook Profiles
Although this violates Facebook’s rules, many fake Facebook accounts are bots.
People might try to begin relationships with people they meet on Facebook not realizing the user had a fake Facebook profile.
Is Facebook a Monopoly?
Facebook has been accused of being a monopoly that goes against the U.S. Constitution.
The social media site is accused of being a monopoly for several reasons:
First, Zuckerberg’s latest idea is Libra, a form of cryptocurrency.
Yet, historically, when a private entity has control over a public resource, a monopoly occurs.
Also, Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren is calling for Facebook to break up on the grounds that it is a monopoly. If elected president, she plans on breaking Facebook up, she claims.
Facebook Instills Apprehension
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg does not convey an assurance that the data breaches and political scandals of the last few years are over.
In interviews, when questioned, Zuckerberg seems evasive.
What do you think?
People have been so uneasy about using Facebook, there was a recent push to delete Facebook apps.
The #DeleteFacebook movement continues today.
As you can see from these screenshots from Twitter, goodwill toward the company is lacking.
To say branding is important is an understatement.
If I know the importance of branding, Mark Zuckerberg certainly should know it.
No Longer the Best Place to Work
Each year the Glassdoor news blog publishes the best places to work in America.
Facebook fell to Position 23 this year, a 16 drop fall. The effect must hurt employee morale and could, in turn, hurt job performance.
Facebook fell last year as well (Source).
Algorithms are Biased
First, social media sites are businesses. They exist to make money.
Therefore, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn give more visibility to sponsored content.
Also, SEO matters as well.
For instance, the longer you are on Facebook, the better Facebook’s bounce rate is. This improves the SEO which means they get more search engine visibility.
What keeps you on websites longer? Videos.
Video marketers have an edge over other content creators.
Since it takes users longer to watch a video than to read textual content, Facebook and other social media sites give more visibility to videos.
Next, social media sites don’t show content people want to see. My brother doesn’t see my content, for example, in his Facebook feed.
Social Media is Addicting
Since it’s addicting, tools are invented to help people spend less time on social media sites.
For example, the iPhone tells people if their screen time is up or down from the week before.
There is also a tool that turns off your browser.
Social Media Sites are Subject to Change
These changes occur without warning.
Facebook, for instance, suspends Fan pages constantly. These often are made up of active communities built by their owners over a long period of time.
Algorithms change as well and these changes can work in your favor or against you.
Last, social media sites fold. Recently, Snapzu, Livinvia, StumbleUpon, and Google+ all folded. Then, you may feel you spent time and energy at those sites for nothing.
Wrapping Up: Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook
In closing, I love using Facebook, and I don’t say that lightly.
I attribute my growth in large part to the support I’ve received from Facebook bloggers.
I recommend you also use Facebook to grow your blog.
However, clearly, Facebook is not without its weaknesses.
After the strong success of my review of the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram, I felt a review of the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook would be timely.
After reading this post, you know what they are. Please share this post so people interested in using Facebook for any reason know the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook as well.
I look forward to your views in the comments section.
This post offered 16 advantages and 10 disadvantages of Facebook. Do you feel the disadvantages are so strong they outweigh the advantages? Do you know any additional advantages and disadvantages of Facebook?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.