There has been much in the news these past couple of weeks about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and their misuse of personal data affecting at least 87m people around the world. Around one million Brits have been affected. The majority of others were in the US.
To many, this probably won’t have come as a surprise. We all know how freely we give our data away, whether knowingly or unconsciously. So this news won’t have been earth shattering.
As is with social media, it hasn’t taken long for the #DeleteFacebook trend to get going. Media sites have been giving instructions on how to download your data and to delete your account, which many have. There is no information out there to say how many have indeed deleted their accounts. But given the strength of feeling on the subject, we can guess quite a few.
Problem is, two billion of us use it. It’s embedded in so much of what we do. The window industry included.
Massive advert platform
Many thousands of window and door companies across the supply chain use Facebook as a platform to reach out to potential customers and advertise. I use it myself for DGB. All articles I publish on here get posted to Facebook, as well as other social media platforms. I use it to drive more traffic to site and expand it’s reach.
In terms of size, it’s easily the biggest social media platform on the planet. So much of the internet traffic comes from Facebook. For that to work, for free, Facebook must harvest and use our data for numerous reasons. To make it pay, they sell ads.
Just because it’s the biggest, doesn’t mean it’s too big to fail, we have found that out painfully in the last ten years. And we remember how quickly MySpace and others died off. I’m not saying that we’re approaching that moment, we’re far off that. But, the world of social media can change very rapidly. One update on Snapchat from a major celebrity for example can send it’s share price plummeting.
If Facebook were to decline as a platform, the window industry and it’s companies would start to loose traffic, exposure and reach. It’s become a vital part of a lot of companies’ marketing strategies. Take that platform away, massive exposure goes away.
The problem is, there really isn’t any other alternative. There is Twitter, but it’s not the same size and it’s interactions are very different than that found on Facebook. There’s Linkedin, but that’s very much B2B and wouldn’t be attractive to installers looking to reach out to home owners.
Here to stay?
Is it possible that Facebook could disappear from our devices? Everyone thought at one point that MySpace would be here forever. That many high street institutions and even banks could go. You’re never too big to fail.
As it stands right now, there’s more chance of one of the nationals giving a home owner their best price in the first place than Facebook collapsing. But, this has to be seen in a longer term view. Facebook won’t be here forever. The fast paced world of the web and social media will mean something else will come along and replace it. Look at the hype Vero got only a few weeks ago. Their membership is already in the millions and they had to put the brakes on due to a massive membership spike. All it takes is for public opinion to sway, which can happen quick, and turn to another platform, no matter the size, and that’s that.
As a platform, Facebook will be here to stay. Longer term, there will already be companies out there that will be eyeing up the market share and user numbers Facebook has. The likes of Vero and Twitter will be pushing to make the most of the negative headlines right now.
But have any of you considered canning Facebook? Perhaps not your business accounts, but personal accounts. There are many reports out there at how bad it is for us to aimlessly scroll hour after hour. Has this scandal caused you to re-think your use of Facebook? Are you thinking about shutting down accounts altogether? All comments on this are welcome via the comments section below.
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