Is This The Beginning of The End for Facebook?

OK, the headline might be 100 percent clickbait – but the world’s leading social network is currently experiencing unprecedented turmoil, as users question the company’s morality and commitment to the community it serves.

Shares in Facebook have fallen 10 percent in 5 days, wiping a cool $40 billion off the company’s value, as the fall out from the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal continues to impact on the social network’s reputation.

Note: I wouldn’t worry too much about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has reportedly seen more than $6 billion wiped off his personal net worth following the scandal. According to media reports, Zuckerberg has already made close to $900 million in 2018 by selling Facebook stock and so is unlikely to be strapped for cash, regardless of how bad things get at work.

Increased Regulation

With threats of increasing regulation in the tech sector, it’s not just Facebook that’s taken the hit. Shares in companies including Google and Amazon saw more than a bit of turbulence following investigations by Channel 4 News and The Observer newspaper in the UK into how the firm Cambridge Analytica may have helped influence the 2016 U.S. elections and the UK’s Brexit vote.

Note: It could be argued that Donald Trump’s often unfiltered use of a social network saved Twitter. But while he was breathing life into everyone’s favorite micro-blogging platform, could his campaign team have inadvertently brought Facebook to its knees?

Oversharing on social media

While many social media users perhaps use social networks like Facebook to overshare with little or no concerns about how their personal information is used, the sheer scale of the manipulation of the data acquired by Cambridge Analytica has awakened a significant number of people to question how seriously the network takes their privacy.

#DeleteFacebook

Twitter users are unsurprisingly taking a great deal of interest (glee) in the Facebook’s apparent fall from grace with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook trending across the site.

Several tweets remind us that we all moved on from MySpace so leaving Facebook shouldn’t be so hard.

While others remind us of the fact, that when you don’t pay for a product, YOU become the product – so why sell yourself so cheaply.

However, my favorite #DeleteFacebook tweet of the day suggests that one user couldn’t possibly leave as they would have no way of knowing if it is snowing outside or keeping up with the racist views of “that guy” they never liked at high school (surely we’ve all got at least one of them in our collection of Facebook friends).

In all seriousness, with a user base of more than 2.2 billion users, Facebook isn’t about to collapse anytime soon. However, the company risks more than significant short-term pain as users and (equally important) advertisers question their allegiance to a social network that has let so many people down.

Are you concerned about privacy on Facebook? Will you follow the hashtag’s recommendation and #DeleteFacebook? If you are still around, let us know on our Facebook Community Group. Or, if you’ve already split – use the comments section below:

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John W. Hayes has been helping small and medium-sized companies develop their business strategies online for almost as long as the Internet has been in the general public’s consciousness. Working alongside some of the biggest names in ecommerce and online marketing (including Amazon, eBay and Google), he has dedicated much of his career to demystifying the web and highlighting opportunities for real world businesses to grow. He is the author of four books: - Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing - A Crash Course in Email Marketing for Small and Medium-sized Businesses - Bricks & Mortar Oughta: What Real World Businesses Can Learn from The Internet - Why Authors, Bloggers, Journalists & Writers Need to Think Like Rocks Stars John is a regular speaker at events throughout the UK, Europe and the US, is a prolific blogger across numerous sites and is widely recognised as an influential Thought Leader in the SME online marketing arena.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great article John, I have said for years if it wasn’t for business use I would have deleted Facebook years ago.

    What started out as a tool for communication has become a much more dangerous tool.

    I scroll my feed and it is cluttered with ads and videos that I couldnt care less about.

    I also feel that the social triggers it has helped forge are contributing to depression amongst younger people.

    The comparing your life to everyone else’s Facebook worthy highlights. I for one wouldn’t miss Facebook but I can’t help but feel it isn’t going anywhere soon

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