Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.
We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.
It is time to break up Facebook.
America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible. That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.
More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.
Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism. Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones. Their gospel was simple: “Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.
American industries, from airlines to pharmaceuticals, have experienced increased concentration, and the average size of public companies has tripled. The results are a decline in entrepreneurship, stalled productivity growth, and higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.
From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.
Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics. About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products. Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp. By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat. What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.
The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp. In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction. Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.
The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos. That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network. The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.
unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out. So Facebook simply copied it. (opyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)
As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines. This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon). Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).
The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice. Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.
Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see. Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.
Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.
As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.
Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power. The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.
We Don’t Need Social Media
The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good
Colin Horgan, May 13, 2019
Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made
Nick Srnicek, author of the book Platform Capitalism and a lecturer in digital economy at King’s College London, wrotelast month, “[I]t’s competition — not size — that demands more data, more attention, more engagement and more profits at all costs
more on Facebook in this IMS blog
Instagram positioned itself as the third most popular social media app
and the best social media app of 2016.
Twitter saw a decrease in users over the past year and even death of their beloved 6-second video-clip sharing app, Vine.
In an article entitled ‘Why Vine Died,’ Casey Newman reported the following, “Former executives say that a major competitive challenged emerged in the form of Instagram, which introduced 15-second video clips in June 2013.
Instagram remained stable with the introduction of new features like stories and video channels, resources of it’s parent company, Facebook, and the introduction of ads to the platform that look very similar to the posts in a user’s feed.
In addition to a total logo redesign, Instagram shifted its focus from just pictures, to longer video (from 15 sec. to one minute) and direct messaging features, such as group posts and disappearing video. Explore Channels in Discover let people discover new photo and video content based on interests. Instagram Stories added a new element to the Instagram experience showing highlights from friends, celebrities and businesses one follows without interfering with their feed. Instagram also caters to business needs through its Instagram for Business platform that allows for instant contact, detailed analytics and easy-to-follow linked content.
Most recently, Instagram released live video in their stories feature. Users can start a live stream in their Instagram story and view comments and feedback from their viewers in real time! This feature is similar to apps like musical.ly and live.ly which has over 80 million users and 62% of its users are under 21.
#StudentVoices #MillennialMondays #WhatToWatch
#MillennialMondays is a new series that aims to discuss relevant topics on careers and business from a millennial perspective.
more on instagram in this IMS blog
Of the three platforms, Snapchat is the one marketers may have the most difficult time getting a grip on. The tools are intended to produce clips that are less polished than creatives are used to and the platform isn’t designed for reach.
Vine is the newest of the three platforms, though many learned of it before Snapchat gained more mainstream attention last year. Vine videos are often whimsical and some even seem effortless, but the most popular users may spend hours or even days creating memorable stop motion videos.
Many of the world’s top brands are now on Instagram and for good reason. The social network has more than 200 million users, integrates well with its parent company Facebook and lends itself more to the types of professional photographs and 15-second video spots that marketers are accustomed to.
Do you want to create videos without having costly equipment?
#1: Choose Your Channel
Instagram allows you to post videos 3 to 15 seconds in length.
Vine lets you publish videos up to 6 seconds long.
YouTube offers the ability to upload almost any video regardless of length or quality.
#2: Choose a Video Style
stop motion, time-lapse and standard video
#3: Shoot a Stop Motion Video With Vine
#4: Shoot a Time-Lapse Video With Hyperlapse
My note: Time-Lapse Video is available on the new “Camera” feature of iPAD and iTouch
#5: Shoot a Regular Video
#6: Edit Your Video
Emerging Social Networks
Learnist is a crowd-sourced collection of knowledge, with web, text and video content covering thousands of topics. Boards are curated by knowledge leaders, providing content from the people who know it best. Create your own expert knowledge boards on the Learnist website and browse with the iOS and Android apps. Learnist was launched in 2012.
Sulia is a subject-based social network to connect users with expert sources. Sulia seeks to help people to discover new sources and engage with their interests. If you’re an expert and would like to reach the audience Sulia has to offer, contact its staff, at email@example.com. Sulia also offers a Sulia Select program, which matches top experts with leading publishers and retailers.
Pheed is a free social multimedia platform, available on iOS, Android and via the web. Pheed users share voice-notes, music, photos, videos, text, and live broadcasts. Pheed channel holders can also monetize their content by charging a monthly subscription fee (between $1.99 and $34.99) or by charging for pay-per-view live broadcast events. Pheed launched with an iOS app in 2012 and an Android app in 2013.
Medium is a place where people share stories and ideas — a great place to generate expert content. Medium is designed to be collaborative, with tools to let readers offer feedback. Medium is also designed to help you find an audience, through a combination of algorithmic and editorial curation. Medium launched in 2012, and its iOS phone app launched in 2014.
Cyber Dust is a platform for temporary mobile messaging. Texts sent via Cyber Dust automatically disappear 24 seconds after being read. Users can blast messages and locations, and send disappearing promotional content, like stickers, animated GIFs, URLs and more. An alternative to Snapchat, Cyber Dust is the latest startup of maverick investor Mark Cuban, whose own legal woes motivated him to create the app.
ShareBloc is a Reddit-like link-sharing community for professionals to curate, distribute, and discuss business content. ShareBloc could also be a good resource for small businesses in the B2B sector. The site launched in 2013 as a peer-review platform for members to rate and review vendors. ShareBloc’s main obstacle will come from the competition it faces from heavyweight LinkedIn.
Thumb is a crowdsourcing platform to ask any question and quickly receive 50 to 100 responses. Easily filter by topic to get relevant responses and new content. Thumb is a resource for any small business looking for quick feedback on a new product or service. Originally launched in 2010 as a tool to give shopping feedback, Thumb has become a place to discover and give feedback on seemingly anything. The mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
Impossible is a network where people help each other out. People who need help post a request, which is shown to users most likely to fulfill it. Those with help to give can share time, skills and objects for free, as they build kindness profiles. While this network is geared toward altruism, it may be a good place for a business to put its product to work.
We Heart It is an image-based social network focused on inspiration, expression, and creativity. It’s a hipper version of Pinterest, aimed at “highly-engaged, tech-savvy, and consumption-focused millennials.” We Heart It has over 20 million monthly visitors to discover, collect, and share images on its mobile apps and website.
Chirp lets you send a message using sound — a chirp — to anyone running the app near you. Share photos, links, notes, and more, all from your built-in iPhone speaker. Chirp could be a powerful marketing tool for location-based businesses looking to entice passers-by. Chirp’s iOS app launched in 2012, and its Android app launched in 2013.
Mobli is a social application for sharing mobile photos and unlimited-length videos. It’s a feature-packed alternative to Instagram. Broadcast your live events, use photo and video filters update weekly, create looping videos, follow locations and hashtags, and more. In November of 2013, Mobil announced a capital raise of $60 million from billionaire Carlos Slim’s América Móvil.–
Vine is an application for creating and sharing six-second looping videos. Vine officially launched in 2013 (after Twitter purchased it in 2012) and quickly became the most-used video sharing application. Recently, Vine launched a new website with a variety of features to discover videos, such as channels, trending tags, and curated content. The change could deliver further gains for Vine, which according to GlobalWebIndex is used by a quarter of U.S. teens.
There is a movie about a middle-aged cook, his early-teen son, who TWEETs and VINEs and helps his dad’s career: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2883512/
Good actors but weak plot and movie. My blog entry is not about the movie quality, but about the notion that social media is saving the main character’s career and helps him self-promote.
This Week in Social Media:
Vine becomes more complex/potent and gets in closer competition with YouTube, Twitter gets in a closer closer competition with Facebook, YouTube becomes more complex, Facebook is further pushing adds in our lives, LinkedIn gets closer with SlideShare
Vine Introduces New Camera: “The new camera offers powerful ways to edit your videos, as well as the ability to import existing videos on your phone and turn them into Vines.”
Twitter Updates Timeline Feed: “Additionally, when we identify a tweet, an account to follow or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see tweets from accounts you don’t follow.”
YouTube Updates App: “This YouTube app on TV will make it easier to find what you want through the Guide, and it brings you all the playlists, shelves and branding from channels.”
Facebook Updates Ad Policy: The change increases “the number of times people can see ads from a page in their news feed per day.”
LinkedIn Announces Rollout of Premium Features to All SlideShare Users: “Now, all users will have access to our most popular premium features that include detailed analytics, profile customization and additional upload options, like video and private uploads.”