I love social media. If it exists then I'm on it. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Flickr, Tumblr, Bloggers...need I go on?? Through social media I have met some fantastic new people, had the most profound conversations, made new business contacts, found some of the most interesting content on the web, kept up with the goings on of friends and family and heard breaking news before it even reaches the main sites.
The thing with social media though, is that it keeps changing. That's not a complaint. I understand things have to change to keep up with demand. People want more and more and, in order to provide the level of service that the public expect, social media sites needs to keep moving. A perfect example is the recent changes to Facebook. In order to stay on top of their game, Facebook has had to make some radical changes. If they don't do this they risk being left behind. The problem is that people don't like change and find it difficult to accept. Humans are creatures of habit and even small changes can send them running for cover.
Over the last few days I have seen numerous tweets and posts and shares from people (myself included) all saying how much they hate Facebook now and how they're going to leave it or close their accounts or head over to the newly formed Google Plus. That's all very well but how long is it before Google Plus starts to change too? Until the middle of last week you could only get on to G+ by invitation. I liked this. There was a limit to the number of people, albeit thousands, on the site but it felt like being part of an exclusive group. Last week Google Plus was opened up to everyone and already I'm seeing a few disgruntled comments from people who liked being part of the original exclusive group. They somehow feel that Google Plus belonged to them; that they were there first and I can understand that but that's the thing about social media - it keeps changing. Twitter keeps adding small changes to the way the site runs but people accept it. The difference is that the changes are small and therefore barely noticeable. Facebook have chosen to take the all or nothing route of making sweeping changes across the board and to heck with what people think. The thing is, with over 750 million users they can afford to lose a few, but the guys at Facebook are not stupid. They know that people won't move. They know that individuals and businesses have invested a lot of time and effort in establishing their Facebook profiles and pages. Mark Zuckerberg hasn't become the 14th richest American (at 27) through being stupid.
Which brings me to my next and (I promise) my last point in this rant.
Everyone is going on about their privacy being compromised on Facebook and the fact that everyone will know everything about anyone who has a Facebook account. Do you want the bad news? They already know it. They know who your friends are. They know who your spouse/ partner is, who your best friends are, what TV shows, movies and music you like, family connections to other Facebook users, what you like to talk about, what you do on a Friday and Saturday night, whether you have pets, what you like to eat... They already know it all. What people are forgetting is that the minute you sign up to anything on the internet, your privacy is compromised. This is compounded by the fact that everything can be linked now. Facebook, Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Flickr, Fashiolista, news channels, email accounts etc. and anyone who thinks this is not the case is being very naive. The only way to keep your business private is to not sign on to the internet in the first place - EVER!! Facebook itself has no intrinsic value. They make their money through advertising and those adverts are geared towards people through the information they give away about themselves. This is on a similar vein to loyalty cards from big supermarkets. They're not doing it because they like you - they do it because it makes them more money. That's what business is all about.
All of our social media sites are FREE. They provide us with a great service and hours of entertainment - FOR NOTHING. If they don't make the necessary changes in order to stay profitable then they may have to start charging for the use of their sites and how many of you would want to pay for that?
Facebook isn't my favourite social media site. I don't use it that often but I do understand that for the people who own it, run it and work at it, it's a business and if that means making changes that people don't always agree with then so be it and if they lose a few people along the way - c'est la vie. I can guarantee though, in two or three months' time most of you won't even remember the 'old' Facebook.
And so, to end my 'rant' here is a little bit of light relief. http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2IABxg/www.collegehumor.com/video/6611967/not-google-plus
Please feel free to post your thoughts on this in the comments section.
Until the next time,