The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

FaceBook challenges run deep and are fundamental

Back in 2007, then in 2016 I looked at the FaceBook business model and compared it to AOL.

Here is the thing. AOL which was the US #1 internet source at one point, lost out because its mission was to retain users within the walled garden. It is not the first time this argument has been used but consider …. AOL strategy was all about building tools within their own garden, and as early as the 1990’s they even had their own browser and their own markup language (think proprietary version of HTML). They had their own CD which let you install AOL on your computer. The AOL ‘platform’ was a CD. Platform, tools, apps; the parallels are remarkably close.

My context then seems narrow now. But FaceBook remains a walled garden which expects to attract users and is required to continually provide reasons to be attractive to users, and yet make money.

The attraction FaceBook provided was to challenge traditional views on privacy and imply that they had that covered. Zuckerberg continually challenged traditional views on privacy and was rewarded with 2 Bn users.

Fast forward to now, and the walls are tumbling. Sandberg comments today tell us Mark will no longer be at the helm in short order.

Relevance to Bankwatch:

I have always been critical of internet and web as a media tool. I remain steadfast on that. I believe in pay as you go subscription models for news. I know who I trust and I know who I mistrust.

Facebook has no attraction for me as media. I understand the attraction of my relatives sharing family pics but I do not understand the relevance for news.

I know and trust Lionel Barber, Rana Foroohar and Gillian Tett (look them up). They carry weight and credibility. That is what distinguishes actual news.

Meantime FaceBook has been attracting users beyond the friends and family people based on spurious information that is not even called news. Those people were attracted under false pretences. Sandberg noted today that “To this day, we still don’t know what data Cambridge Analytica have”

Finally this from 2009 from 2009 where I summarised the coming media crisis using pieces from several others.

In 2004 people were asking about blog business models. Now it is social network business models. I have suggested other ways to deal with business models, but the mob continues to aim directly at advertising as the answer. It will pollute the web, and result in the opposite result than what is desired. It will not bring sustainability for them using advertising.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 5, 2018 at 23:34

Posted in Uncategorized

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