An American weirdness

“Instead of competing on the merits, Facebook used its power to suppress competition so it could take advantage of users and make billions by converting personal data into a cash cow.”

How can they believe this?

Facebook doesn’t sell data – not in any but the most trivial volume at least. It sells advertising. The data aids you in limiting your ad spend. As to monopoly it’s no more one of those than the classifieds pages of a newspaper are or were.

11 thoughts on “An American weirdness”

  1. So the personal data is an intermediate step, not a final sales product. So what?
    Facebook scrapes anything it can from your internet use, and even goes after what you do on other sites. And then buys up any possible competitor.

    But it’s all cuddly and loveable really.

  2. Seems like they convert do personal data into cash, but there’s no taking advantage of users going on. If I get this right, they’re arranging it so users mostly see ads that are relevant to them, which is a benefit.

  3. @Esteban… Anecdotal only, but I know a couple of people who found the ads so scarily personally relevant, it persuaded them to close their FB account!

  4. I can’t comment on how relevant facebook’s ads are, I’m not on it. But looking at other algo sites there seems space for a lot of improvement. For weeks I was bombarded by ads for earwax from a site, whose blushes I will spare.

  5. “Instead of competing on the merits, Facebook used its power to suppress competition so it could take advantage of users and make billions by converting personal data into a cash cow.”

    What’s funny is that a lot of social media only gets funded to get bought by a larger company. YouTube, Snap, Slack, Skype, Instagram, Whatsapp, Bebo, Twitch. None of them has ever turned a profit. If no-one had bought Instagram they’d have run out money.

    Monetising social media is really, really hard. For some time it looked like FB wouldn’t do it. They still hardly make any money per customer.

  6. For weeks I was bombarded by ads for earwax from a site, whose blushes I will spare.

    Are they buyers or sellers? I hadn’t realised there was a market in it. Needs investigating.

  7. I have a friend who is a bit of a marketing guru. His adage is that if social media sites are offering services for free then you are the product.

  8. Back in the ‘90s dot.com era may firms went public that arguably shouldn’t have. By the early 2000s following the bust there were scores of firms generating paltry revenues and substantial losses, but with tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in cash on their balance sheets. Some firms’ share prices had the entire company worth less than their cash.

    Laws were changed and now it is harder to go public. Whether that’s a good thing or not we can argue about, but it is what it is. So, for many newly formed firms their best exit is a sale of the business. Apparently, we now want to nix that. It’s hard not to think that the real goal is to stop those damned technology types from coming up with something new all the time. This might do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *