Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Facebook Tracking is Different from Google or Verizon

Yesterday I announced I left Facebook over ethics, their push for forced sharing, and how they want so much of my personal information like my cell phone or credit card. I was really upset that they will be tracking every user even off Facebook without permission or alerting people. I don't care what the Engineer who responded to the Mashable Article said. He was bullshitting out his ass. You can not bullshit like that and be taken seriously. Facebook does nothing by accident.

Which brings me to why this is different. Google has been fighting censorship in China. They even shut down their site there for a long time moving it to Hong Kong. Most of the phone companies pushed back against the NSA wiretapping during the Bush years. 

Facebook is not this type in my opinion. Their business model is exploitation, vs one that is user centric. Ever Brand makes money providing me a valuable service. Facebook makes money exploiting my content and life. They need the page views and sharing because they wake up with stained underwear from freaking out about 'What if we IPO at only $20bil and lose all that investor money'. If you don't think this isn't on Zuckerberg's mind 24/7 you are in denial. This is a huge weight. Now go to the Fortune 500 and look at the companies worth $20bil or more and ask yourself based on Facebook revenues and unknown profits would they be equal value. I bet 95% of the companies when analyzed are worth more than Facebook when using the fundamentals of sales, assets etc.

When I talk on the phone Verizon doesn't share with my friends the content of that conversation.

When I use Google and surf the web (which btw the average person spends over 90% of their web time NOT on Facebook) they do not share with my friends or my boss where I was and what I did.

My Internet Provider is also my Cable provider. Time Warner isn't telling my friends what show I am watching.

I am not having brands intrude on my life from these activities. I am not getting emails from Brands because they sold my Gmail address. I am not getting telemarketing or even direct mail from any of these providers.

But Facebook wants to do all this. And they are going to do this and make it hard to opt out of this sharing. They will allow your friends to go to your profile and see you are watching a show on Hulu unless you change the privacy settings. How many really want this?


Lastly Facebook still thinks we want this Brand Experience and yet the people have been rejecting this for years. Look at what the people are doing you numbskulls! People are engaging with brands as less than 1% of their Facebook activity. BUT guess what? They do engage with Brands every day online and off social! Every day. On their own terms. Not Facebook's. Not a brand page terms. If you ever look at the Open Graph LIKES on non-Facebook sites the participation is technically zero. If you have 500k Views of a page and you get even 1000 Likes that is 0.2% which is zero. I see lower participation rates.

And since it's value to me as a Comm Platform has diminished over the last 2+ years, and with the clutter from the network making it impossible to truly stay in touch with friends will I miss it? Not sure. But with the 40% drop in time spent per user per day since April 2010 I am not the only one who has seen the value proposition drop significantly. And while I am a proponent of Social Media we use it a lot less than the Social Media Experts, Mashables, and Networks want you to believe. A Lot Less!

Don't forget we live in a Marketing/Advertising/Media bubble and while you might think I am just a Facebook hater, I do use advise on it, but it is a small part of the marketing mix. And since my career won't be affected if Facebook succeeds or if it fails I have a pretty objective view vs many of my peers who are desperate for the success of Social Media because that is what they built their career around.

My career? I help brands sell product. That is what I do. And I am free to do it with the best tools and strategies out there. Direct Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Mobile, TV, Radio, even Print if it fits their needs.

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