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Face-less

through the looking hole

iPhone, vsco cam edits, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC

I came across a recent news story on NPR about how Facebook is attempting either to take over competing apps or run them out of business. Zuckerberg’s popular social media platform has already bought and taken over several apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp (there are many, many more), while attempting to incorporate – or swallow as I see it – a variety of other outlets.

Take for example the media – several news outlets can now directly publish their stories on Facebook. Advertisers and marketers have better access to individuals likes and dislikes so that they can better target them. The much-hated algorithm attempts to tell you what’s most popular in your feed (although from what I’ve been told you can try to curtail this somewhat by applying various settings, but that sounds cumbersome to me).

Facebook has also curated the platform more so for “brands” in that they not only want you the user to brand yourself, but have made it a lot easier for companies and celebrities to do so as well. In fact, you the everyday individual, the one who helped build Facebook up into internet stardom, is actually now drowning in the loud corporate noises.

This is leading to individuals sharing less and not more (read this article from The Guardian). In fact I’ve heard several of my friends – actually the majority of them – say that they don’t post much on Facebook anymore, but rather observe what others post. (Although, if a lot of people are doing that now, then isn’t it true that most of the posts/re-posts on Facebook come from companies, the media, advertisers, and famous people? Just a thought.)

Facebook’s response to this problem has been to build new tools for sharing, such as the newly announced live video, instead of better tools for managing privacy – demonstrating Facebook’s prioritization of companies and brands at the expense of the needs and safety of individual users. – Anna Lauren Hoffmann, The Guardian

What started out as a sharing and connecting platform among friends and family has turned into an online venue – or ongoing convention – where marketers from a variety of companies, organizations, media outlets, political parties, big and small businesses, etc. are constantly hurling themselves at individuals, attempting to grab their attention in the hopes of selling their brand and product. It’s rather disgusting. At least to me.

Granted, let’s not forget I’m not on Facebook anymore and many of the above points I’ve stated is why I left (trust me, there are more).

It’s actually quite disappointing. For a while I liked the fact that I could connect with friends and family who were thousands of miles away, in other countries or states. That, to me, has been mostly lost – specifically on this particular social media platform. But that’s what business is all about isn’t it? The bottom line – money.

 

 

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. San #

    Ugh. I totally agree. There is so much noise on Facebook and I hate how they tailor your feed… and then people get offended when you missed their posting, because it drown in the mass of “more important” updates.

    Sigh.

    I also hate how Instagram has more and more sponsored posts sprinkled into one’s feed…. (even if you have a private! account). It’s so annoying (not annoying enough for me to quit Instagram, but…). You know what I mean.

    April 19, 2016
    • Marie #

      Ugh yes I know what you mean. :/ Companies will find any and all places to try to advertise to us. It’s become increasingly annoying and people quit platforms because of that (I’m not quitting Instagram either just yet).

      April 19, 2016
  2. I haven’t noticed brands or companies in my FB feed.. .but then again I don’t follow or “like” any brands or companies so they don’t show up for me. I also don’t follow famous people 🙂 So my feed really is just people I know, mostly posting about babies and trips (and Bernie Sanders these days). I still like it to keep in touch with what’s going on with people who I can’t see regularly.

    April 19, 2016
    • Marie #

      I think I reached my limit when news orgs (whose pages I did like at the time) were clamoring to get my attention and one person I was “friends” with (I use that term VERY lightly) posted a photo of a gun on there. NOPE. The whole algorithm messed it up completely too (which is the same with Twitter now, but I use something other than Twitter, i.e., Hootsuite to get tweets in chronological order). Even if I eliminated all my “Likes” of pages and what not, the whole algorithm thing and throwing things out of order bugged me to no end. I like seeing things in the time they happened – not jumping around or what FB thinks is most important. It was just too much noise.

      April 19, 2016
  3. I don’t share on FB anymore as much anymore. Just observe, like your friend. I post occasional photos and share others’ posts. Maybe I’m just blah on the whole social media thing now. Even Twitter I’ve on less and less!

    April 19, 2016
    • Marie #

      I really think that’s what a lot of individuals are doing now. I’ve also read millennials are not using FB as much and use other social media platforms more so like Snapchat (haven’t tried it and don’t feel the need) and Instagram (addicted because, well, I love pictures). I use Twitter mainly for two reasons – to see what’s happening in the news (globally and domestically) and for metro (UGH, because METRO).

      April 19, 2016
  4. It is pretty disgusting. People always bemoan how powerful and huge Google is and forget that there are companies just as powerful, with just as much information on you – Facebook. And it’s using an awful lot of your information for money.

    There are alternate social media apps out there for just connecting with family and friends, like Path, but the frustrating thing is, it’s nigh on impossible to get people on those because… Facebook.

    Hate that bottom line.

    April 20, 2016
    • Marie #

      Right? And of course they aren’t the only two. Plus there really is no such thing as privacy anymore. On top of that, other than these types of companies/platforms, obscure companies such as credit companies collect all sorts of information on millions of individuals.

      And agreed, even if there are other apps out there or platforms, they are not as popular as Facebook so it is basically impossible to get people to switch. Besides even if people did, I bet that those platforms would then turn around and be the new “Facebook.”

      April 20, 2016
      • Advertising and marketing are too big a possible revenue channel to not get into, so yep, anything wanting to be the new Facebook inadvertently will turn into it. Why I have tended to do most of my sharing of photos and random bits to WhatsApp groups with family and friends.

        Its kind of sad and defeatist of me to accept the situation I guess… But what else is there?

        April 20, 2016
        • Marie #

          That’s what I do as well! I share via Whats App mainly with family and regular texting with friends in the US.

          April 20, 2016
  5. People wonder why I loathe Facebook. *this*

    May 2, 2016
    • Marie #

      Right?

      May 3, 2016

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