Insanity Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
I get into countless arguments about the importance/value Facebook has. I never truly believe someone when they say they hate facebook. Its simply too hard to do so. Facebook has become the premier social network. You will be hard pressed to find someone who does not have a Facebook account. Surely there are exceptions here or there but anyway you look at it, Facebook has become a way of life. It single handedly has changed the way we communicate and connect. No other resource allows us to share our experiences, stay in touch with family and friends stay on top of news at the same time at the efficiency facebook allows. The only time people ever have problems with the social network is when they undergo one of their many design changes as well as when they mess around with privacy settings. People do not like change and people do not like to be taken advantage of. My piece will be about how Facebook has been on a downward spiral as of late. This is a piece that will be kind of hard for me to write as I will be playing devil’s advocate due to my love of Facebook.
Facebook: if you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT BEING SOLD. This is one of the most profound lines I’ve read in a long time. In today’s society we jump at the thought of anything that’s free and assumes nothing of it. Early on many people questioned why Facebook wasn’t charging for their service. I mean think about it, millions upon millions of users, had they issued a charge, even the smallest of fees like $1 per year ( exaggerating low cost) they would’ve made staggering amounts of money. The quick answer is that they didn’t want to risk losing any amount of users (those who would have abandoned the site had it issued such a charge). The real reason is that, Facebook in fact is already making millions upon millions of dollars off of us. Through all of the advertising, Facebook has become the number one goto place for companies because of the large population on facebook. The reach of advertisers through Facebook is tremendous, why charge and risk losing some of this population.
So Facebook is using us to make money, shocking? no, many of us already knew this. So what is the point of this piece. I am writing this article because times are changing and Facebook is nearing dangerous grounds. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg won over millions with not only his creation of Facebook but his handling of the beast. Zuckerberg maintained excellent public relations with his many claims and proclamations. Here are a few examples.
“We don’t build services to make money, we make money to build better services.” “Facebook was not originally intended to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission–to make the world more open and connected”
Words by Zuckerberg that gained the adoration of millions of users worldwide. Finally, someone at the head of a huge organization that wasn’t driven by just money. Or ..so we thought. This post is timely due to Facebook’s decision to go public and set IPO (initial public offering). Whenever this happens the reason is solely due to money. The problem I have with this decision is that Facebook already is making tons of money, this is pure greed. It was found that Facebook had over 3.5 billion dollars on hand, they’re IPO would be 5 billion.
The decision was backed by the argument that the money would be used to maintain Facebook and keep atop the social networking platform. Like the article mentions this is hard to grasp seeing how Facebook is a technology site and not like other companies that requires machines and equipment which are costly.
Another big issue brought up in the article is the wiring behind public companies. The biggest threat in my head when I heard of this was investors would be screwing with my Facebook, giving their clueless inputs into how the service should be chnged to make their wallets fatter. This however and thankfully is not the case. Zuckerberg will not allow there to be a board like other companies where people can influence his decisions. He can hear them out but will not have to listen under any circumstance. Whew. But then again, then what was the point of going public without the input of the independent board?
This was really a mix of different points raised about Facebook’s future. the main thing we all need to keep in mind going forward is staying aware of what is going on. Whether we like it or not, Facebook has become a powerhouse of communication and is literally the lifeline of many outreaches as well as community organized movements. The recent online bills and policies that are trying to be passed will affect our use on sites like Facebook as well as other online tools that have become our primary weapon against injustice. This is our voice. Do not let the government or corporations take that power away from us.