The natural terminus of social software

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: The social graft.

"Marketing is conversational, says Zuckerberg, and advertising is social. There is no intimacy that is not a branding opportunity, no friendship that can’t be monetized, no kiss that doesn’t carry an exchange of value. The cluetrain has reached its last stop, its terminus, the end of the line."

I’m not against advertising, nor am I against he monetization of content. Neither am I against social networks being used as platforms for ads. However, there’s something about the language and tone which Facebook has used for its social software advertising platform launch which leaves me veering towards taking Nick Carr’s side on this.

Perhaps the reason that Facebook ads make me uneasy is this:

"Facebook, which distinguished itself by being the anti-MySpace, is now
determined to out-MySpace MySpace. It’s a nifty system: First you get
your users to entrust their personal data to you, and then you not only
sell that data to advertisers but you get the users to be the vector
for the ads. And what do the users get in return? An animated Sprite
Sips character to interact with."

With Facebook ads, the exchange seems so gloriously one directional. They get all my personal data. In return, I get… what? Not even the ability to get my data out if I wish to, data which by any right I should own.

And this data lock in now starts to make more and more sense. If there was an open API allowing users to take there data away with them, they might not be getting all those cool FacebookAd things, which might mean that – shock, horror – Facebook might have to get some other stream of revenue.

So, in order that you will make Coca-Cola your friend, Facebook is going to pin you and your data into the chair, pull back your eye lids, and not let you free.

  • http://blog.rebang.com csven

    I fully expected this and afaic no one should be surprised by their latest moves. Most any other company would do the same thing in their position. Water under the bridge.

    The more interesting thing to me now is: how will the majority of users respond/react to all this? and how will *some* attempt to turn the tables? This could actually be fun to watch.