I’m not suggesting that Facebook is all bad. Facebook has done a lot of good in connecting people across time and geography. However, Facebook has been doing that since the beginning, when it became open to the public. In recent years however they’ve been on a crusade to win the internet.
There’s a number of reasons to like Facebook, but today I want to build a case from the other perspective; the case against Facebook.
Why did you join Facebook in the first place?
I’ll tell you why I joined. I wanted to keep in touch with friends and family. I wanted to share some photos with friends and family.
For a while, that’s basically what it was.
What is it now?
Crap, crap and more crap
Join my mafia family, feed my sheep, Horace answered a question about you, answer a question about Bobby, blah, blah, blah.
Facebook has become a platform for applications, upon applications, upon applications, and 95% of them are pure garbage. It’s difficult to seperate the ones that are legitimate from the ones that spam your wall, collect your sensitive information and spread like a virus.
Facebook is spending more time adding new features (that copy existing services) than it is cleaning up the nonsense and spam all over the site.
Which brings me to my next point…
There are better platforms for virtually EVERYTHING that Facebook does
Facebook is undoubtedly the Microsoft of the internet.
Facebook tries to do everything and no matter what it is Facebook does, there’s something better out there doing the same thing.
Facebook Places? Ever hear of Foursquare? It’s more feature-rich, has shorter release cycles, more rewards and doesn’t have that stupid tagging feature in it.
Facebook newsfeed? Ever hear of Tumblr? Way more flexibility in design, an archive feature, and you own your data. You can even pull out your data, how novel?
Facebook Photo Albums? Come on, what about Flickr or Picasa? Not only do you get the benefit of avoiding that horrible lightbox Facebook photo viewer, but you don’t have to worry about your photos being bought and sold in Facebook’s quest for world social domination. I haven’t heard anything about Flickr turning on a facial recognition feature by default, that’s a Facebook maneuver.
Facebook videos? You’ve heard of YouTube, right? Nuff said.
The reasons we don’t all use each of these services are: fragmentation and competition. Facebook ties everything together in one nice, neat little platform, giving you no reason to venture outside of it’s walls. To use each of these other services you would need to know that all of your friends are using each of these services.
Do you REALLY trust Facebook?
Here’s perhaps the biggest point; I personally don’t trust Facebook…at all. If you do, ask yourself why you do.
Facebook has set your privacy settings to public by default on at least five new feature releases. Zuckerberg himself has given plenty of reasons to question his intentions.
Facebook recently went out on a PR smear campaign against Google’s about privacy, when Facebook themselves are the poster company for privacy woes.
The list goes on and on. If they are giving you a service for FREE, you might want to question what they are doing with your data in order to pay for their servers.
This is why I dis”like” Facebook’s foray into all things internet. I don’t trust them to be the winner of the internet. I don’t want a Facebook payment system. I don’t want Facebook doing all of these other things, putting better smaller companies out of business simply because Facebook has the numbers.
If I didn’t HAVE to…
I work in social media so I have virtually no choice but to use Facebook. It’s a powerhouse, with over 600 million users. I can’t avoid it, but rarely does a day go by that I don’t think how underwhelming Facebook is as a platform.
I like Facebook pages and I think the new groups are 90% well designed (minus the add anyone you want to a group feature).
I just wish there was a better, more trustworthy, unified platform. Personally, I think it would be nice if Twitter was the platform we couldn’t avoid.
In the end though I’m not trying to get anyone to close their Facebook account, I just want to raise some questions and make some points that Facebook is not and SHOULD NOT be, the be all-end all of the internet. As a social media platform it has a number of strikes against it.
What do you think?
Am I just being cynical?
Do you trust Facebook?
Do you think their platforms are superior to existing ones?
Sound off in the comments.