Facebook, I Can Hardly Stand Ye
by Omatic Design
AS THE (current) premier social networking site with sixteen zillion active users and rapturous marketing acolytes blathering in brand-tongues, Facebook is the pop sensation of this moment. But what the hell is going on with the most popular kid? Has his ego finally overtaken his soul? Wait, wait…watch. Facebook is taking a big-ass, slo-mo face plant.
Marvel at the painfully fluid reinventions of their service agreements. Wince at the god-awful interface and barely functioning functionality. Groan at the hyper-aggressive monetization schemes and transparently insulting spin in the wake. Raise your eyebrow at the utter disregard for the power (and growing rancor) of the community they birthed and subsequently spanked.
I’m a Facebook user. After I realized the whole gang was there, I popped in and found I enjoyed being with everyone and acting like goofballs. Add to this my self indulgent proclivity to throw out little postings designed to let the world know how clever I am and I should be happy as clam. It’s a trivial delight in concept. But I hate this place. The decor sucks, nothing works right and there are some total creeps eyeing me from the back of the room.
Users of Facebook are not anonymous digital marketing targets baring their lives for the benefit of advertisers. They are actual breathing people. And these people want privacy. They want security and their own little uncorrupted place in the world. These people are getting pissed. These people also want to feel good about the companies they support. They want to feel that they’re respected and in turn they will give theirs. This is what a vibrant brand will beget.
At this point Facebook’s brand is that of interference and opportunism. Mssr. Zuckerberg and Co. have created a tidy little place for people to hang out and converse but these people are beginning to realize the host is a dick and he’s looking through their coats on the bed.
Facebook is going to collapse on itself. It’s that simple. Right now, there are many groups vowing to jump the ship over privacy concerns and the fact that they just hate these guys. The media is grinding out new articles every day calling attention to its unsavory actions. A quick search will turn up a lot of people gleefully predicting End of Days for this social media thug. Mark Zuckerberg’s popularity is about level with influenza. This is getting serious, y’all. Nobody gets all riled when their host is benign but Facebook has proven that they are absurdly cynical and callous to the concerns of The Actual People Who Use Facebook. They’ve given nothing to their users but a platform and you can be sure there are better platforms coming. There’s no reason to actually give a crap about Facebook itself. Everyone will leave because they have no true allegiances to the company, they’re just using a technology and a singular concept that’s right for this time.
There is that nagging issue of dependency which will make this coming exodus drag out. Nobody wants to leave because everyone is still there, right? Wrong. The inevitable won’t be stopped.
Here’s the thing: there’s a very serious group of early de-adopters out there. These are the “brave” ones who will leave the compound and their friends behind to set up elsewhere, their principles shaken but intact. And they will eventually convince their friends to join them. They’ll find a brand that they actually like—as opposed to endure—and the next of many chapters in the story of social media will begin.