A Long Island-based startup has very publicly picked a fight with Facebook, penning a bitter goodbye note on the site that charges 80% of the clicks it paid for in ads were from bots.Though the company — Limited Run — had only 400 or so fans when the note went up on Monday, the spat became national news. Tom Mango, co-founder of the company, which hosts stores for labels, designers and artists, said the entry got picked up by Hacker News, which led to press reports elsewhere. The notoriety by the incident may be the small business equivalent to General Motors’s decision to pull its ads from Facebook in May. The allegation is especially damaging since it comes after a BBC probe also found Facebook was teeming with fake spam accounts.
In the post, Limited Run announced the reasoning behind its decision to delete its Facebook Page in “the next couple of weeks.” The company reasoned that it was getting charged for clicks that were not coming from actual users. “Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site,” the post reads. The company then tried other analytics software and found it couldn’t verify more than 15%-20% of clicks. So, Limited Run made its own software.
After that, the company contacted Facebook, but didn’t hear back. Meanwhile, the company wanted to change its name from “Limited Pressing” to the current Limited Run. A Facebook rep, however, told them that the company would do so only if Limited Run agreed to pay $2,000 or more in advertising per month, leading Limited Run to write, “This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.”
A Facebook rep says that the company is investigating the matter. As for the name change: “There seems to be some sort of miscommunication. We do not charge Pages to have their names changed. Our team is reaching out about this now.” Mango says that a Facebook rep got back to the company after the matter became public and offered to change the name to Limited Run. Mango said thanks but no thanks.
Ironically, Limited Run got more marketing from picking a fight with Facebook than it would have by buying ads. However, Mango says there was nothing calculated about his actions. For instance, if he knew the matter would be reported so widely, he probably wouldn’t have called Facebook “scumbags.” Mango is similarly philosophic about Limited Run’s newfound fame. “I haven’t Googled us, but I’m sure what comes up now is this Facebook thing,” he says, adding that the company still plans to delete its Facebook Page. “We don’t want this to drag on. We want to move on from this. We don’t want them to be linking to this forever.”