Firm ditches Facebook for Twitter, claims clicks are bots

Limited Run alleges 80 percent of clicks were coming from bots, and Facebook would only let the company change its name if it agreed to spend $2,000 or more in advertising a month.

Limited Run has announced it is abandoning Facebook, telling its fans to find the company on Twitter.

Limited Run has a Facebook Page called Limited Pressing, but not for long. After becoming frustrated with Facebook advertising, as well as Facebook itself, the firm has decided to ditch its Facebook Page altogether.

Via a Facebook post, Limited Run announced the plan to delete its Facebook Page "in the next couple of weeks" and explained why. In advance of relaunching its service as Limited Run (previously known as Limited Pressing, as you can see above), which allows labels, musicians, and artists to create their own stores for selling digital and physical products, the company started to experiment with Facebook ads. The result was a massive failure.

While testing Facebook's advertising system, Limited Run noticed it could only verify about 20 percent of the clicks that were supposedly being converted to users showing up on its Web site. After trying a few analytics services to figure out the remaining traffic, the company built its own software out of exasperation.

It turned out the bulk of users had JavaScript disabled, making it difficult to track their clicks. So the company built a page logger, and allegedly found 80 percent of clicks it was paying for were coming from bots:

That's correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn't reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let's move on, because who the bots belong to isn't provable.

As mentioned already, Limited Run was also looking to change its Facebook Page name from Limited Pressing to Limited Run. After multiple attempts to get in touch with Facebook, Limited Run said, the social networking giant allegedly replied it would allow the firm to change its name, with a catch:

They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2,000 or more in advertising a month. That's correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage.

Limited Run closed its Facebook post with two thoughts: it thanked its supporters, and noted that "If you'd like to follow us on Twitter, where we don't get shaken down, you can do so here: http://twitter.com/limitedrun."

Ouch.

For those wondering, Limited Run was founded in 2009 and describes itself as a service that hosts "stores for artists, labels, designers or anyone selling unique products directly to fans. Whether you're selling physical or digital items, we provide tools that let you create a store, or even an entire website, in minutes." Something tells me they don't include the creation of a Facebook Page in their sales pitch.

"We're currently investigating their claims," a Facebook representative said in a statement. "For their issue with the Page 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."

Meanwhile, here's Limited Run's full announcement below, in case it is lost with the removal of their Facebook Page:

Hey everyone, we're going to be deleting our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to explain why before we do. A couple months ago, when we were preparing to launch the new Limited Run, we started to experiment with Facebook ads. Unfortunately, while testing their ad system, we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first, we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of other big name companies, and still, we couldn't verify more than 15-20 percent of clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic software. Here's what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn't on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn't have JavaScript, it's very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click. What's important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2 percent of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we'd keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80 percent of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That's correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn't reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let's move on, because who the bots belong to isn't provable.

While we were testing Facebook ads, we were also trying to get Facebook to let us change our name, because we're not Limited Pressing anymore. We contacted them on many occasions about this. Finally, we got a call from someone at Facebook. They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month. That's correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage. So we did what any good hardcore kids would do. We cursed that piece of shit out! Damn we were so pissed. We still are. 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.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this page and liked our posts. We really appreciate it. If you'd like to follow us on Twitter, where we don't get shaken down, you can do so here: http://twitter.com/limitedrun

Update, 6:00 p.m. PT: Added Facebook comment.

 

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