When we announced the closure of The Babes Club Facebook Group at the beginning of December, I’ll be honest – I felt an immediate sense of relief. When we announced the launch of The Babes Club App back in April of 2021, we didn’t keep it a secret that the group would be archived at the end of the year. However, it took me longer than I thought it would to actually accept that we had to let go of the group to keep The Babes Club going in the direction that we want it to.
I had a lot of questions, a ton of support, and a little bit of pushback from a vocal minority as to why I made the decision to pull the plug on The Babes Club Facebook group. So, I wanted to share all of those reasons with you all. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t agonize for HOURS and HOURS before we finally made the decision to close the group. Believe you me, it was not a decision that I made lightly.
The Babes Club Facebook Group: An Algorithmic Monster
The Babes Club Facebook group had grown too big, too fast. As a result, I felt like somewhere along the way, we lost our direction. The group originally started as a way to promote my boudoir photography studio way back in 2017 but quickly turned into something I never imagined it would; an entire community focused on empowerment and support. New friendships blossomed, and connections were made. Members rallied around each other, lifting everyone up around them. But, somewhere along the way we got lost.
Due to the needs of Facebook’s Almighty Algorithm™ I was forced to spend more and more of my time in the comments of every post. I had to make sure that each piece of content that I posted would encourage comments or interactions. The group quickly became a stream of memes, games, and noise. Friendships and connections were still being made, but each interaction and post started to feel forced by my frustrations of trying to get important content seen in our community. I’ve written countless blogs and other content to post in the group that just got swallowed up by the noise of Facebook, most of it never being seen by even a small percentage of our members.
Over the past two years, I have watched and waited. Right before my eyes, countless other boudoir photographers had their groups shut down without warning. Most of them weren’t even sure of the reason for their group closure. I knew that it could happen to us, because it had happened to them. Not to mention, the thought of losing our entire community for something outside of my control made my stomach feel sick. For an entire community to be without a home, without warning, and without a soft place to land. So, we launched The Babes Club App in April and I haven’t looked back since.
My Suffering Mental Health // Facebook is a Toxic Hellscape
Let’s be honest with each other; Facebook is a toxic hellscape of a platform. That has been obvious for years, but with the news of the Facebook Whistleblower earlier this year it was made very apparent to me why I always feel like literal shit after spending time on Facebook. The Babes Club Facebook Group was a teeny tiny pocket of positivity in a wasteland of algorithms literally designed to make you angry or elicit a negative response from you – because that’s what keeps you on their platform. It is absolutely abhorrent what they have been doing behind the scenes to make sure that we’re addicted to their platform.
And, well… I didn’t want The Babes Club to support a platform that blatantly sows dissent in our society. So, we started to look for alternatives. We need to ensure that our community isn’t tied to the sinking ship of Facebook anymore. One of those first available lifeboats had The Babes Club written all over it. I was scared shitless to be the first to jump – scared that maybe I was wrong and the ship wasn’t actually sinking. However, the more time that passes, the more I am confident in my decision. Moving our community onto our own private platform was the best decision I’ve ever made. Full stop.
Emotional Labour is Labour, too.
This is all not to mention the countless hours upon hours every week of real, emotional labour involved in running a 5,600+ member community, putting out fires, and making sure no rules were being broken. Reprimanding and even removing rulebreakers. Spending hours upon HOURS of unpaid emotional labour in my DM’s talking people off the ledge when someone or something upset them. Getting angry on Facebook Live when someone was fired for something they posted, because a coworker ratted them out. Even with a team of dedicated admins, it was a lot of work. To most of our members, the group was a free feed of positivity in their newsfeed. To me and my team, it was a full time unpaid position keeping the wheels of the group constantly turning.
So, I have been hard at work creating an amazing space over on The Babes Club App. Is this app for everyone? Nope. I didn’t design it that way. This app is for people who are on a journey of empowerment. Folks that have recognized that they have some changes they want to make in their life; to become better versions of themselves. Those that want to have the support of their peers who are also on similar journeys. The Babes Club App is for those that believe in the community we have created. For those who want to support this private and safe space for our members.
By shutting down the group, I also created space in my own life to focus fully on the app and also this new shift in my career. In 2022 I’m releasing new guides and courses within the app for our members. We’re hosting guest expert lives every month on various subjects, and we’ve created separate groups for different discussion topics within the app so you can tailor your feed to how you like.
By freeing up this space, I’m able to get back to the thing that I love and miss doing the most – making art, creating content, and writing. I can finally empower my community without trudging through the battleground of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm.
Bloom where you are planted.
The app somehow even feels like a whole new community blossoming. It’s closer, more tight-knit, and feels like we are slipping back into what I really wanted this community to be. Supportive, loving, and uplifting. The Babes Club app feels like all of that and more. I think it feels that way because those that are members, are members because they want to be there.
I hope that now you have a better understanding of why I made the decision to close the group. It wasn’t to take anything away from anyone. I didn’t do it to be mean. I absolutely did not do it as a get rich quick scheme. We tried really hard to make the app free, but when we realised the costs associated with running our app, we made the membership fee as low as we possibly could, while still recuperating some of our costs. As of writing this, we are still (GLADLY, mind you) out of pocket every month to host our private platform. That being said, I would make this decision a thousand times over, the same exact way, every single time.
For those of you that have already made the leap, from the very depths of my heart, THANK YOU. You have shown me that you believe in what we’re creating. That you support our community. That you want to help make this world a better place, by starting with yourself. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards the community we have built over the last several years. While I’m of course sad that not everyone can come with us, I know that those that do, will continue to make our community amazing.
Membership to The Babes Club app is only 2.49 CAD monthly. Your membership fee goes directly back into making The Babes Club community empowering, fun, and safe for everyone and supports the creation of new content for our community, special guest lives, helps us pay for hosting fees, and supports other events and initiatives.
If you haven’t already joined, upon creating your account let us know that you read this blog post where it asks “Where did you find out about The Babes Club App?” and I will credit your first month on us. Please allow 24-48 hours, enable push notifications, and I will notify you when your trial is available!