Facebook has announced plans to launch a new website hosting service – for free.
The social media giant has been working hard as of late to increase its appeal for business customers – last week, I wrote about its expansion into the world of ecommerce with new business tools for WhatsApp. The announcement of a hosting service, however, is perhaps the most significant of its newly planned developments.
Facebook released a statement on the new hosting service on its blog:
“Businesses have varying technology needs and want choice in the companies they work with to host and manage customer communications, particularly with remote work increasing. Which is why over the coming months, we plan to expand our partnerships with business solution providers we’ve worked with over the last two years.”
In a statement released by TechCrunch, Facebook also announced that the new hosting service would be free, setting itself as a rival to existing platforms like GoDaddy and Wix. With its name established worldwide, its huge data centre collection and its vast experience in online infrastructure, many businesses may find this new service an enticing option.
Now, it’s true – a free website indeed sounds like a great deal. However, there are a number of reasons why businesses should proceed with caution and steer away from this road. The most alarming reason of all is that you would be handing over control of your online business to a company notorious for changing its algorithms at the drop of a hat.
This has been seen many times before with Facebook Pages. Around 2013/14, its algorithm infamously changed, leaving pages around the world seeing a dramatic decrease in organic engagement. Nowadays, with further algorithm changes, pages with thousands of likes struggle to reach even 10% of their followers without the aid of paid ads. This has also been seen on its Instagram platform, with many ‘influencers’ and businesses struggling to get engagement on their content.
What’s to stop Facebook doing the same with this new website hosting service? Nothing!
At first, this likely wouldn’t be the case. In fact, many business owners may have a great experience with the platform and see high volumes of traffic to their website. However, once the platform becomes in widespread use, there is every likelihood that Facebook will introduce paid features around a similar time to an algorithm change, with those who choose to only use the free features seeing no business coming in.
At Engage Web, we won’t be taking this risk with our clients, and strongly advise businesses to invest in quality, time-tested platforms like WordPress for their online business. If you’re in need of an effective website, or website hosting, that will set you up to bring in business, contact our team today.