Facebook: $till Relevant??

I remember when I first logged on to Facebook. In my professional opinion (I think I was 15), Myspace was the best thing that could ever happen, and Facebook was so boring. There’s no where to listen to music, no “Top Friends”, this is Bull$#%^ I thought. But what the hell, I created an account anyway.

Now, over 6 years later, I’d say Facebook has me hooked. I update my status regularly and keep active conversation with friends and family. But I’ve watched the world’s largest social media network develop and evolve over the past 10 years, and I can’t say I’m one hundred percent impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the success of the company is a near impossible feat, and hands down Mark Zuckerberg is one of the greater minds of our generation, but I feel like since their IPO, they’ve developed an investor-first, consumer-second approach to their style of business.
Facebook’s profits and advertisements have clouded the vision of their company’s product, and it has affected the original mission of the company.We create products to produce cash, I get that, otherwise, what’s the point of going to work everyday? The social media site has made some drastic changes since its creation, and some may not be so popular with the users and others will. But today, Facebook announced an unveiling of their new “newspaper” timeline, and again, I see the “investor-first” mentality. The goal, at least in my mind, of this new style of newsfeed is to aggregate the information Facebook feels is important to you. But thats the number one thing I don’t like, Facebook shouldn’t be the one deciding whether or not my friends relationship status is less important than Walmart’s new deal on DVDs. Zuckerberg designed the site to connect with other college students at Harvard, and thus it expanded to different universities and eventually opened to the general public. The purpose, and use, of Facebook was to connect to those you don’t see everyday, eliminating the snail or email style of communication. It allows you to post the photos from the weekend getaway straight to the site, allowing your audience of 100-5,000 friends see and comment on your photos.
Facebook’s goal has changed. They opened their IPO nearly a year ago, and in that year I’ve consistently felt and heard a decline in the popularity of Facebook. They no longer appear to care about helping you connect with friends across the country, but rather care about their NASDAQ report. I get that the need to hold investors by generating revenue is now the lifeline of the business, and creating profit is the goal of starting a business, but if you lose the consumers, doesn’t that all fall apart?
Before social media really anchored itself in our lives, maybe we would of stuck through this debacle and dealt with it simply because there is nothing else, but in today’s world of constant digital communication, with new social media and tech sites appearing on the App Store and Internet everyday, Facebook needs to air on the side of caution when it deals with gambling with the way they change their product. The product was satisfactory, and people almost feel they NEED Facebook to communicate (that’s another scary thought to think about, but I don’t want to get into that). However, too drastic of a change, and people will leave the website, and when they do, it’ll be interesting to see how many investors decide to stick around. Once the flood gates open up on a social reaction like that, it’s hard to get it to stop.

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About joemartin2014

J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.

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