U.S. State Department spends $630,000 to boost Facebook ‘likes’

us department facebookWhat could you do with $630,000? Take care of your mortgage, pay bills and student loans, a car and house have to be high on that list, too. How about spending over half a million dollars on a Facebook campaign to attract more followers? Well that’s what the U.S. State Department did. 

A desperate State Department wanted to boost its Facebook following so badly that to get from 100,000 to more than 2 million followers during the two years between 2011 and 2013, the Department spent $630,000 on its Facebook strategy. The State Department employees described the social media strategy fairly simply: “Buying fans who may have once clicked on an ad or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further,” a U.S. State Department report stated.

Defenders of this plan argued that Facebook Page discovery is difficult enough to merit the use of Facebook ads “to increase visibility.”

OK, so the State Department may be content that after its six figure investment each of its four Facebook pages had 2.5 million fans that were acquired through advertisements and viral photos, but a funds-rich social media strategy doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve acquired loyal fans. The rate of engagement would be the judge of that.

No surprise here: Just two percent of fans were found to be engaging with these Facebook Pages, which means that few people are actually paying any attention to the U.S. State Department’s Facebook presence. And that has to sting, given that the department felt they were worth spending quite a bit of cash on.

“Engagement on each posting varied, and most of that interaction was in the form of ‘likes.’ Many postings had fewer than 100 comments or shares; the most popular ones had several hundred.” 

The State Department acknowledged in the report that buying fans wasn’t a terribly worthwhile investment. Maybe that will be a lesson to everyone buying Facebook fans out there: The state department shelled out and look where it got them. Apparently you really can’t buy popularity.

Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Gaming

Some ‘Fortnite’ players aren’t too happy with the new Infinity Blade weapon

The most recent update for Fortnite added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to battle royale, and some players aren't happy with how much it has changed the game during competitions.
Home Theater

Netflix paid $100M to keep ‘Friends,’ but viewers may pay the highest price

Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep '90s sitcom Friends on its service for another year, but the cost consumers might have to pay for access to their favorite shows and movies down the road could be much, much higher.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.