Beloved British pub chain quits social media, tells customers to get their news the old-school way

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A Wetherspoons freehouse at Trinity Square in London, England.
A Wetherspoons freehouse at Trinity Square in London, England.
Image: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

In the era of brands competing for attention and affection on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, one British company has done the unthinkable—it’s quitting social media completely. 

JD Wetherspoon—a chain with 900 pubs in the UK and Ireland— announced it’s closing down its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts for all its pubs and head office with “immediate effect”. At the time of publication the accounts had already been deleted. 

According to an official statement from the pub operator, the move comes after “the bad publicity surrounding social media” including “the trolling of MPs” as well as the recent news surrounding “the misuse of personal data.”

The company’s chairman Tim Martin said he didn’t believe quitting social media would impact on business. 

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business,” Martin said in a statement emailed to Mashable. “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers,” he added. 

The statement also cited social media’s “addictive nature” as a reason behind the company’s decision.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion,” said Martin. 

JD Wetherspoon intends to use its magazine, website, and app to keep its customers up-to-date. 

It also said it was encouraging customers to “get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub”.

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