Facebook: From social network to social disease?

3 Ways Facebook Plans to Exploit Users

Excerpt (2 of the three):

  • Facebook is going to "sell" users for $120 each According to their filing, Facebook had 850 million Monthly Active Users (MAU) at the end of 2011. From that user base the company generated roughly $3.7b in revenue, or just under $4.50 for every member. Nearly 90% of this number comes from selling your information to advertisers who, in turn, try to sell you things Facebook says you want. That may seem like a reasonable trade until we get to the IPO. "If this thing goes public at the price they're expecting (Facebook) will get $120 per user," Matt Nesto notes. Said another way, Facebook is going to sell you for 120 bucks. Wall Street bankers will get a cut of this figure, with Facebook getting the bulk of the money. FB users get nothing.
  • Facebook users are about to become billboards In the first line of a 2,000 word letter from Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder announces the following: "Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected." Noble stuff from a guy about to be worth nearly $30 billion. Regardless of the original inspiration, once Facebook goes public Zuckerberg's job is to create value for shareholders. That means getting more than $4.50 a year for selling each user's information to advertisers. One of the ways Facebook is going to go about this value extraction is turning your every click into a sponsorship. If you feel exploited now you ain't seen nothing yet. Post-IPO, everything you "Like", suggest or link is going to be packaged and sold. Anyone you "Friend" will be pitched stuff you like. People with whom you have common friends will be sold goods on the basis of your unwitting recommendation. You won't just be connecting with people anymore, you'll be infecting them with spam, pop-ups, and network. If that sounds something like a social disease it's because that's exactly what it is.

Comment: Gives one pause!

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