Facebook recently launched a series of add-on features that let people automatically take advantage of “frictionless sharing” of what articles they’re reading, what music they’re listening to and other content consumption.
This the dumbest idea ever. Nobody wants to broadcast details of everything they read and hear. And nobody wants to hear everything about what others are doing.
If anything, the automatically sharing of content consumption on Facebook has caused people to lose respect for the people they used to respect. “Oh, look. My formerly respected co-worker is reading an article about some celebrity busting out of her bikini.” Not impressive.
That’s why it’s no surprise that so-called “social news apps” are failing catastrophically.
Online pundits and celebrities have been whining about how Google is pushing it’s Google+ service on everybody, shoving Google+ social signals on search, and requiring YouTube users to sign in to Google+ in order to “Like” or “Plus one” videos.
Google has explicitly stated that they are unifying far-flung services into unified, integrated services.
Who says a company can’t unify its services?
If Google had launched with all services integrated into one, nobody would complain. But because they’re boldly unifying services after the fact, everybody is claiming falsely that Google is forcing Google+ on people. In reality, Google is bringing it’s services together into a single super service.
Public relations and marketing firms continue to cling to the delusion that they can manipulate social networks from the outside for the monetary gain of their clients.
This will never happen. There is no way to truly influence people on social networks without participating. Real people have to actually engage with others on social networks or no influence is possible.
Another problem with the Facebook IPO is Facebook’s business history as being dominated by old-and-busted display advertising.
Nobody is going to get rich with banner ads. The future of social networks is social signals combined with artificial intelligence to serve up advice and promotions very narrowly targeted at individuals.
Banner ads are just a stop-gap source of revenue while companies figure out how to take it to the next level.
Nobody cares about privacy. Everyone will whine and complain about bad privacy policies, and Facebook’s notoriously complicated features for overcoming the default settings, which violate the privacy of users.
But dangle any minor benefit, discount or convenience in front of the public, and they’ll give up their privacy without hesitation.
Social networks have become important. It’s time to stop accepting the myths and falsehoods about social networks that the pundit echo chamber would have us all believe.
Social is important. Social is the future. But the lies you’re being told about social networking need to be challenged, refuted and killed.
Stop accepting social networking lies.