With the recent reveal that Facebook user data was compiled in such a way to sway voters in the United States, many have called for a boycott — or outright abandonment — of Facebook as a social media platform. I completely understand these concerns, but I’d like to share a bit of wisdom I heard several years ago that specifically regarded Facebook.
If you aren’t paying for it, you ARE the product
That quote hit me hard, and also made me realize how much money Facebook — and other sites that offer similar services — can make behind the scenes, not only from selling ads but also selling its user information.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s 90% likely that you came here from Facebook based on information provided to me by one of the applications I use to track general metrics. I’ve mentioned previously my discomfort with having all my eggs in the Facebook basket, but after a number of only vaguely successful attempts at encouraging people to sign up for direct email notifications, I’m not sure what else I can do to wean myself off of the need for Facebook. It’s the 800-pound gorilla of social media, and as long as that’s the case it can’t simply be ignored by anyone who uses social media for self-promotion.