When you’re approaching 500 million users is not the time to make a move like this. Of course, because of Facebook’s unprecedented growth, I’m reasonably sure that this would not have followed were it not for nearly 500 million users.
You don’t need 10,000 fans to know that Facebook almost cut out over half of its fan page customers and maybe more. I think they may have realized that themselves after the backlash.
But keep something in mind. When you’re in the growth stage of a business, you can’t afford to step on as many toes as this decision would have done. And certainly not on a segment of the market as vocal as the small business community, a community that tends to vote with its feet.
Did Facebook make a mistake? Yes, in all likelihood it was a big mistake. But it could have been bigger. At least they relented.