The Internets are abuzz with the collapse of Digg (no loss to me since I always found it useless). Digg, once “worth” 200M$ (actual investment of 45M$, “worth” is a totally ridiculous idea until there is actually a market) was sold for couch change of 500K$ after basically collapsing. At one point Digg had 30 million unique visitors a month and had one of those self-congratulatory articles (in Business Week, “How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months), the sure sign of impending demise.
But Digg is not very interesting and is already being hashed over by people who have more contact (or interest) in it than I do, but I think there is something much more interesting in this article about Facebook’s issues, which in light of Digg show some of the same problems as the “7 Ways Digg Dug Its Own Grave“. Surprise, surprise: “Earlier this year Facebook revealed that about 5-6% of its 901 million users might be fake – representing up to 54 million profiles.” What everyone forgets about Facebook (and all the social media) is that it is a business and those that have gone public (or still hope to) have absurdly high valuations (such as Digg demonstrated) and thus are absolutely desperate for revenue. I have mentioned over and over to you people, Facebook and Twitter don’t exist as a free service for you to contact your friends; they exist as business to extract money out of your pocket, almost as bad as the king of vampire squids, Goldman-Sachs. And they need to extract lots and lots of money to pay their bills and their ridiculous P/E (and if you don’t know what that is, you should learn, because this is what Facebook thinks about, not you) so they’re going to bleed you dry.
Now Facebook is doing enough spam on its own, but it’s encouraging businesses to spend lots of $s to Facebook in the pursuit of likes. But the article is questioning whether business is getting its money’s worth, as GM questioned Facebook’s value just before the IPO.
So why does Facebook even permit 54 million fake profiles. The article nails it: ‘”They’re making money every time a business’s advert leads to a phoney Facebook fan,” he said.’ and nails it with: ”
A spokesman for the social network said: “We don’t see evidence of a ‘wave of likes’ coming from fake users or ‘obsessive clickers’.”
But Mr Cluley said it was in the firm’s interest to downplay the problem.
That’s right. Facebook makes money of this bogus practice and so of course it’s in their interest to deny it exists and do nothing about it.
Facebook is in a stronger position than Digg (much more stickiness) but let’s not forget that its predecessor MySpace, once the rave phenomenon, has essentially bitten the dust. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Facebook user, you are just bucks to Facebook feeding frenzy and they have to extract at least $10/month from everyone of you. And they will do what it takes to accomplish that. And they won’t be worried, as witnessed by the recent mess with email, if a few of you whine, maybe even if a few of you quit your accounts. Because they’ve got you! And they know it. You are their panting sex slave, needing your fix from them more than anything else. And they will MONETIZE you. You see your friends, they see $$$.
So since none of the Facebook addicts would ever listen to me, please at least listen to this: make sure you’ve got copies of your data in your possession. Make copies of those email addresses of your friends (the real ones, not the fake Facebook ones) and your own data and copies of your pictures and so forth. So day you’re going to want YOUR data and Facebook is not going to let you have it (what did you think, they’re a bank, where you get to withdraw your savings (even banks don’t do that any more)). Own your data so you can move on to the next fad site when Facebook finally gets too oppressive.
Meanwhile have fun while it lasts.