“If Facebook disappeared tonight, it would take the planet maybe 2 days to get over it.” It’s not the first time I have heard this being said. And even though it sounds like a terrible sweeping generalisation from someone trying to impress over dinner, I tend to agree. Some say it is useless. It definately doesn’t offer real services like Maps, or YouTube or Google Docs. It isn’t a globally accepted personal ID yet. They haven’t even merged the sign in process for all their different acquisitions yet. Messenger is a terrible messaging platform, simply not designed for finding things or organising messages or getting anything done. Much like Facebook it is a sometimes pleasant time wasting area of our lives. Instagram is an absolutely atrocious place to store your photographs or even to promote them. It is not as if you can easily export them all to take anywhere else or even other basic things any photographer would ask for.
Facebook seems to impose stupid restrictions on WhatsApp and any other app it makes. It takes ages to transfer even winning ideas from one of its properties to another. Because Facebook’s business model is non existent. They are basically low level con artists, out to milk everybody a little at a time. In fact I think its mission statement should read:
“To waste everyone’s time by dilly dallying with mediocre solutions to minor problems while taking advertising money from people with extremely imprecise targets in life or business.” It is almost as if they do it on purpose. First they tell everyone to make business pages, then they make sure that nobody sees those pages. Unless you pay for ads. They tell everyone to focus on video, then downplay video. The introduce ridiculously infantile advertising tools at a pace so slow it makes you wonder what sort of idiot would put up with them.
Turns out all of us so far. Because every time they give out for free something awesome in terms of human manipulation. For me it is the easy experiments. I have 1500 “friends”on Facebook and I try out things on them. No protocol, no rigour, just throw it out and get a whiff of how they work it. Easiest playground ever for marketing people. I will regularly visit and revisit topics to gauge at an instant how “public” opinion is shifting. I know its not perfect but it is fast and dirty and often all I need to help my thought process along or get ideas. And this is exactly what Zuckerberg and his friends are doing to all of us.
When Facebook ads started, it was so open you could make an ad to be seen only by one person. I did it many times. Want to impress someone in a board meeting? Just find out his hobbies and basics and you could have him or her on your microsite in less than a day. It is not just because they lack experience. It is because they really don’t care. In a deep and meaningful way, they don’t give half a hoot. They have no ethics and it is apparent in their products which are essentially all designed as if to avoid any practical application whatsoever on purpose.
You can’t blame an artist for whatever art is created. He never sold that painting as an accurate map or that sculpture as a hammer. Facebook’s mission statement can only be something vague like connecting people because they are too lazy and too unethical to ever dare hold up a measure with any more specificity. They are not “connecting people” any more than a blood sucking leech is connecting you to it’s other victims.
So what happens next?
Facebook can only follow Google’s lead really. Make, buy or think of something that people want in order to get them using your platform. Knowing Facebook it will be silly stuff. No matter, guess we need silly stuff too. Games, time wasters, Flappy Birds and social games that become fashionable. From “click here to find out what medieval king you were” to “we tell you what you will look like in sixty years”, that is Facebook. That is all it is. That’s as good as it gets. Facebook has no business model because what it sells is about as useful as recreational drugs. So let’s not ask if they did something illegal. Let’s ask if their entire operation should have been legal in the first place.