Facebook may have started as a “private” platform for college students and alum, but it has transformed into an uncontrollable force of nature that seems unstoppable. While Mark Zuckerberg is the name we all know as the one behind the company, it was actually founded with fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
Simple goals that exploded beyond any of their expectations.
Just consider their growth from a handful of staff and a small amount of consistent traffic when they launched in 2004, to over a billion users 8 years later and now 1.4 billion active users every day and an estimated 10,000 employees.
While social media platforms don’t generally share data on usage, according to Statista, 59% of Facebook’s users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and a study by SimilarWeb found that they spend an average of 58 minutes a day on the platform.
Those users also upload over 300 million photos and view over 8 billion videos each and every day. No matter what your views are on Zuckerberg and/or Facebook, those are some impressive numbers.
But Are They Really Built to Last?
It’s clearly evident to anyone that takes even a cursory glance that younger users are moving away from this social media option. More and more are opting for the alternative Instagram or competitors such as WhatsApp and even Discord.
Today’s Internet users are also a lot more aware of the repercussions of data breaches, leaks, and misuse. News headlines on the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Russian trolling, and the 2016 clusterF, are making some users look for alternatives.
Washington has been dragging Zuck through the mud a lot lately and with a ginormous target not only on him but on the entire “head” of Facebook itself with talks of monopolies and anti-trust, the entire future of the company is in question. It doesn’t help much that he seems to approach these things like he is above the questioning or that he doesn’t have a freakin clue as to the answers.
Their much-touted Libra cryptocurrency project got the attention of big names like PayPal and MasterCard, but it also attracted a lot of attention from Washington. Whether it’s that extra heat or the uncertainty with the crypto market overall, PayPal and several others recently announced they were withdrawing from the project.
However, they still have over a billion daily users at this point, so of course there’s still a positive aspect or two with the company.
Facebook Advertising & You
Whether you realize it or not, Facebook’s product is not social media or advertisements. Their product is one that is super easy to sell — You! No matter how much you use Zuck’s baby, every time you sign into it… you’re being sold to the highest bidder.
Facebook is an amazing advertising platform. Although it is less hyped than others, it is surely one of its bigger accomplishments.
They provide advertisers with an uncanny ability to zero in on their target audience and an unbelievable set of tools with an overly-impressive selection of creative advertising types and channels. Companies can utilize simple text, articles, images and videos of course, but they can also leverage lead ads as well as spread them out between Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
Therefore, their main goal is to keep you on the platform(s). They’re selling your presence and attention to the advertisers and they’re determined to maximize “inventory.” If you aren’t engaging, they get nervous.
They don’t make changes and purchase other apps to make life easier for you or to provide you with unique new toys. They do it to keep you engaged so they can sell you to the advertiser.
They only care about users leaving and the longer you are online using any one of their services, you’re helping them to make money. For advertisers, the platform is a gold mine and a Godsend, because Facebook’s loyalties clearly lie with their advertising clients.
And They’re Failing Society
The 2016 debacle showed 3 very clear things — lies, misinformation, and the absence of values are the inherent values of Facebook. Privacy means nothing. We are a product and we are for sale.
Now, I don’t care which side of the political coin you prefer, I think it’s fairly safe to say that we have a narcissist whacko in the White House. Every single day he says something to embarrass American’s all over the world and his stack of lies is higher than Trump Tower.
And Facebook helps him do it.
Think it’s just about free speech and getting the messages out to everyone?
A few weeks ago Zuckerberg said “We estimate these ads from politicians will be less than 0.5% of our revenue next year” but then had to clarify that those were just for ads run directly by politicians and did not include PAC ads. Even at that, 0.5% of their estimated annual $70 million-ish is still close to half a billion dollars. And that’s just the money they’re telling us about.
They also promote a “mirage” to political advertisers, offering an organic reach that doesn’t exist. Sure, Facebook is ONLY pay-to-play for most advertisers… but not hyper-close content like political ads. Facebook targets everyone with those and they make a lot of money from it.
It doesn’t matter what the ads say, if they’re running for office the politician can put whatever they want in their advertising.
What Comes Next?
You’re being tracked.
Your digital footprint gives various platforms, websites, and advertisers more information about you than you probably ever realized. C’mon, haven’t you ever wondered how Facebook appears to “listen” to your conversations when they populate your feed with advertisements that seem to be exactly what you were just talking about or thinking of buying?
It’s not that they’re Big Brother listening to your every word, it’s that their algorithms are that good.
Which begs the question… will the tracking and profiling only get worse?
As technology integrates itself further into our lives, the Internet-of-things makes our homes more “manageable” and user-friendly, and our data continues to be valuable, what lengths will these corporations go to in order to provide even more information about us?
Is social media inherently evil and we’re just doomed to being the eternal product on the auction block? Puppets dancing to a song list that only they have control over?
If we want to use social media, do we have to be a product?
Giving it Up
So, should we just forget our online social lives and try to take back that control? Hell, is that even possible in today’s society? After all, you’re being tracked regardless of whether you have an account, or not.
Just about every website you visit, every ad appearing on that page, every video you view, and every App you use is attempting to track you in some manner or another.
Plus, what about the benefits of Facebook and other platforms? There’s arguably few places that make it so easy to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues as well as staying up-to-date on their life events.
Businesses both local and far away, as well as their customers and target audiences, all benefit from the platform. Current events, sales, and audience engagement are all beneficial for all involved.
When you boil it all down, a new paradigm is needed.
One where people aren’t products, where everyone participates in the prosperity, and there’s an incentive to tell the truth.
A new standard for social media.
Welcome to Bizz
Really and truly, Bizz is the answer to the issues stated above. It’s a new social messaging platform with a new participatory economy where people aren’t products.
To ensure it, they have a clearly stated advertising manifesto.
With awesome features like group video calls, 4K live streaming, exclusive RADAR location-based messaging, and built with end-to-end encryption to keep your conversations private, chatting and streaming take on entirely new meanings.
For businesses, Bizz offers unlimited open groups as well as unlimited invite-only groups, 24/7 streaming radio station, live 4K streaming, campaigns, offers, polls and other extremely powerful marketing functions.
This means that whether you’re an individual or a business, you can finally use social media the way it was meant to be. Without the fear that your data is being sold to the highest bidder.
So no, social media isn’t inherently evil.
It has numerous uses in our daily lives but like any technology, it must live within a set of moral guides that protect us from abuse – think about cloning or AI. Using every aspect of our online lives and turning us into a product can be stopped with new solutions like Bizz.
With Libra, Congressional hearings, and the high-likelihood that the SEC and other regulation authorities are eyeballing Facebook right now, there’s absolutely no guarantee that Facebook will be the preferred social media platform 10 years from now. In fact, there’s pretty good indications that it definitely won’t be.
Just like Facebook devoured MySpace’s market share and sent them the way of the Dodo, apps like Bizz and others could very well rise to take their place. Download Bizz today and see just how easy it is to get started chatting securely.