Friday, October 5, 2012

Facebook: A Spot, a Billion and $7

One billion; that’s a big number! And it’s going to get even bigger. Millions are tiny now. Yes, it actually happened around September 14. And most of the new users are not signing up from the U.S. as Facebook wraps its zuckery paws around the world. Three years ago, 175 million users were a LOT.

Who knew? 

And besides all that, there are about 600 million mobile users and that’s an area of growth for Facebook right now. 

Mr. Z was just on The Today Show (the source of these stats) and was a vague as a politician. He said “We build the best product we can.” Great! The best products for whom? The user? Or the big companies that pay him mega bucks to advertise? As the piece bounced back and forth from the actual interview to various clips, at one point Matt Lauer exclaimed “Is Mark Zuckerberg over his hoodie?” Needless to say, Mr. Z sported one of his twenty gray t-shirts and no sweats. He stated during the interview that he likes to keep things simple and only has one drawer in the dresser to call his own. 

He also went on to say that Steve Jobs was “so focused” and that “user experience was the only thing that mattered.” Oh, and then as the subject of 
Apple continued, he quietly added that Tim Cook sent him an iphone5.

All this excitement comes at the same time Facebook is announcing a "promote a post" feature for users (click here for Reuters). $7 will get you all the visibility you like if you’re in the U.S. 

Now wait a minute! Doesn’t this move away from what Facebook is all about? 

Do you recall all the times where users were afraid that Facebook wasn’t always going to be free? Well, this is it folks! Have you noticed lately that your personal posts aren’t always showing up in your friend’s newsfeeds? It comes down to this: Your friends who have some extra gelt and the willingness to pay to be heard will be the ones you’ll be hearing from most often now.

To my friends: Say goodbye to my sunset, moon, and flower pics because you’re not going to see them as often! Now, I have nothing against a company making money, however, we are now talking about the principles of social media. It was never an issue of paying to be social. Have we forgotten our roots, Mr. Zuckerberg?

On a brighter note, Facebook just released its first ad. According to the article in Ad Age,  it’s been a year in the making and went through various stages long before the possibility of a billion users emerged on the horizon. Not going to say a word here; would love to hear back from all of you. The video is below, courtesy of YouTube (hello Google!).

You are welcome to stop by and say hi on Facebook (ahem), Twitter, the ModlandUSA website, and Google+.


Tim Armstrong said...

He never would have been able to go public if everything was kept free. Good point here about social networking not having to cost, and that point is also made in their commercial describing everything that you DON'T have to pay for in life (aside from airfares!). Seems to me they're reaching out to lonely and not inherently "social" people.

Anonymous said...

My "user experience" is to be PISSED OFF and ranting along with you!

Gerry Wendel said...

They are definitely trying to tug a few heartstrings. But the proof is in the pudding. Personally, I'd like to see this user promotion $7 mess fail so that they can move on to things that truly benefit the user. Withholding posts is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Not good for the users and not good for small business.

Gerry Wendel said...

Well, the more we rant, the more likely we are to be heard. Hoping this post and the other recent one I did about Facebook travel far and wide. Google+ keeps on looking better...

Anonymous said...

We need to BOYCOTT their advertising and promotions if they continue to hold our posts for ransom.

Gerry Wendel said...

THAT is a splendid idea! And I like your terminology "hold our posts for ransom" ...that sums it up!

Unknown said...

Great job exploiting the latest FB scheme. I will not be paying for promotional posts either. What a scam! I do like the ad though...very cool.

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