• Steven Graff

    A couple of points I’d like to raise: 1) facebook is nothing without its community of users and this includes the brands and business it has attracted over the years, a symbiosis has been required for Facebook to grow to its value of $100+ billion. As many social media startups and VCs will confirm without its unpaid users, Facebook would be worthless. 2) It is disingenuous to imply users have given up nothing in return for access to facebook and that participation is free. They have been directly responsible for recruiting new users, they have provided user, beta and bug testing worth millions of dollars as well as new user training that would not be economically feasible if monetary compensation was required, and above all they have provided the content necessary to populate new features, build communities and enable affinity marketing. 3) In addition to all in this in kind payment, they have consumed advertising.

    As with successful brands, ownership of facebook is now very much shared. The team at facebook should be thinking more along the lines of brand stewardship, than those of start-up that has 100% control of its brand and can do whatever it wants without the input of a block of owners whose share is not stock, but the expansion or contraction of the product.

  • http://ciarannorris.co.uk Ciaran

    Thanks for the comment Steven. Where you refer to users as in general members of the public, I absolutely agree – Facebook relies on them absolutely. But that is where I think they (Facebook) can make an honest claim that they need to filter brand material so it doesn’t swamp content people want to see more (updates from friends etc…).

    Using a focus group of one, I see plenty of brand updates (and not all promoted) but from pages I’ve interacted with in the past. But obviously not every brand sees the same thing.

    I didn’t mean to say that users should need to pay for Facebook because, as you point out, they have – with their data and their consumption of ads.