POOLE’S world-famous cosmetics brand Lush is closing down its main social media accounts.

It said it was “tired of fighting with algorithms” did not want to pay to appear in news feeds.

The company says it would instead “open up a conversation” with its customers via its own channels, such as live chat.

The brand has more than 569,000 followers on Instagram, 405,000 on Facebook and 200,000 on Twitter.

It indicated it would be closing key social media channels but keeping individual accounts for influential Lush personnel.

In a statement published on its social media channels, it said: “We're switching up social.

“Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. So we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead.

“Lush has always been made up of many voices, and it’s time for all of them to be heard. We don’t want to limit ourselves to holding conversations in one place, we want social to be placed back in the hands of our communities - from our founders to our friends.

“We’re a community and we always have been. We believe we can make more noise using all of our voices across the globe because when we do we drive change, challenge norms and create a cosmetic revolution. We want social to be more about passions and less about likes.

“Over the next week, our customer care team will be actively responding to your messages and comments, after this point you can speak us via live chat on the website, on email at wecare@lush.co.uk and by telephone: 01202 930051.

“This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new.”

In response to a Twitter reply, the LushUK account said: “It’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels, Lush UK, Lush Kitchen, Lush Times, Lush Life, Soapbox and Gorilla and open up the conversation in the Lush Community. People can follow individual accounts such as Kelly from Kitchen and inventors Dan and Gary.”

Social media has been a strong part of Lush’s marketing strategy, but last year it saw its Facebook rating fall as low as 1.2 out of five after its controversial Spycops campaign against the tactics used by some undercover police officers to infiltrate protest groups. The rating now stands at 2.5.

Lush’s announcement attracted criticism from some in the social media industry.

Speaker and podcaster Brian Fanzo said on Twitter: “If you shift your vision of what success looks like on social media to driving conversations, providing value and creating content that celebrates your customers, I have a feeling you’d find massive value here. I agree sales, talking at people and focusing on likes doesn’t work!”

Samantha Kelly tweeted: “Bizarre. Social media is the best customer service tool and you have direct access to your customers. Also what about the people on Twitter, over 200k followers. are they not important?”

Grace Caroline wrote on Facebook: “What type of marketing team do you have that seriously thinks social media makes it harder to communicate? And don't want to pay to be in newsfeeds? You do realize all advertising costs money, correct?”