“With great power comes great responsibility” – Should one company have this much monopoly over communication?

 

This article is mainly about three things:

Facebook is changing business through Facebook Deals, Photo sharing and Online Video Gaming. Our online experience, and interaction with products and services has become tailored by our virtual identity.

“The web once anonymous will be customised to each person” – “In other words, the world will be experienced through the filter of one’s Facebook friends” (FT.com) – Facebook is changing the very nature of the user’s experience online. The web was about anonymity, now the web is used to create another identity. Users have a virtual persona, and majority of  your experiences online are now filtered through social media. This puts the consumer in a powerful position and changes the way businesses communicate with its clients.

“Facebook is changing the very nature of privacy” (FT.com) – Privacy has become an allusive term online and Facebook has caused a lot of controversy. Where is our information going, and how is it being used? Is this constant stream of information, too much information? How do you filter out the noise?

What do I think about it?

I think it makes it more efficient for business to have a universal identity platform and a personalised information point, information has become more accessible for these businesses to build efficient and diverse campaigns.

I think the internet and social networks have created more accessible information for users and give us a cleaner, quicker experience online. Consumers have a wealth of goods at their fingers tips, which in turn creates more opportunities. The more competitive the marketplace, the more creative and interesting companies have to be at selling their products and services. As a consumer, this is a positive, as with more variety comes more choice. For business, it creates an opportunity to brand and market yourself in new dynamic ways.

However, I do have reservations about our information being the property of Facebook and in particular, one lone company, that can sell our information without our knowledge. This becomes a moral question about how personal information is used in the public sphere.

My views on Facebook and its impact in the future of communications and business

I think it is positive in the sense it allows access to more efficient and specific information; it allows you to keep in contact with a variety of people across the world, and it can help propel movements but I do have trepidation over information being able to be owned, used and passed on to other companies without the user’s knowledge. People don’t necessarily read or understand the terms and conditions on the contact they sign before they join Facebook. An in contract law, doesn’t that make the contract null in void, if it is specifically built to confuse the recipient. We need to be educated in how this information is used.

Facebook makes online communication not just a commodity but a necessity. Living in a world where everything is readily at our finger tips, businesses need to be pioneering and experimental marketeers. It makes products more accessible and available, as well as meaning more competition. Branding and marketing are fundamental for business. For products and services to be sold successfully, social media is integral to advertising. In fact, you can argue it is the only form of advertising that matters anymore; “25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are linked to user generated content”, “78% of consumers trust peer recommendations” whereas “only 14% trust advertisements”. Peer recommendations make products trustworthy; consumers are more likely to trust their online community than big corporations. A more personalised experience online is positive and negative, and has resulted in targeted advertising. You can alienate users/clients by bombarding them with too much information; also an online identity isn’t always going to correlate into what products and services you want, or need. Your friend’s preferences aren’t necessarily yours.

I worry about one company having the monopoly on how we consume information online. If virtual information is the currency; Facebook is the world bank. This isn’t necessarily good for business or society.

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