Why Facebook works
Tags: social networks, privacy, websites, randomthought.
By lucb1e on 2011-12-11 23:55:10 +0100
I finally got it! The reason why Facebook still exists and rules over all other social networks.
Many people say Facebook has privacy issues. But it are not issues, not at all. It is their business model and, more importantly, their marketing model. People come to Facebook at first to find out about other people. Or let's call "people" Joe. Through their name Joe finds where the person lives, his/her relationship status, and even recent photos.
Then, Joe want to reply to that photo or event the person went to, perhaps Joe was there too or wanted to go there. Joe signs up and replies. Joe soon starts discovering other content, friends and acquaintances, especially because Facebook's great suggestions about people Joe might know. Joe actually knows some of the suggestions, and before they know it he too got his entire social graph online. Other people looking for Joe will in their turn follow the same path, and then people looking for them, and for them, and for them.
This works like an endless loop. Unless some day another company starts doing the same but better or more insidiously, we will be on Facebook forever. Or maybe it starts to get uninteresting when a generation or three passes and you find people who are dead by now, while you were looking for the Jane Doe who is still alive. But that's speculating about the future, they probably think of something for that and everything will be fine.
It's an odd realisation that we are pretty much the first generation to experience global connectivity on this scale. Nobody has gone before us, or at least nobody whose generation died by now.
Google+ is much 'better' with privacy. Everywhere you can set what is private, what is public, or even which of your friends may see it. For that reason, it'll die a slow death as a social network.
It's great as publishing medium, but it will probably never be what Facebook is right now. It doesn't share that much information with the world, even if they possess it. They'd rather use it for custom advertisements or contracts with third parties. It's too bad really that people don't go to Google to see advertisements.
At Facebook, everything you post becomes their property. They have the full right to store, copy, modify, redistribute, or delete what they want. That last will never happen though. They will, at most, let you think that they did.
I'm quite sure you need root access to all of their datacenters before you can remove data at all. Physical access is not enough, once you completely demolished a server they simply synchronise it back from another one in the content delivery network. If you hack the database to check which servers store your data, then organise a raid party with 500 people around the world and completely destroy all harddrives with your data on it, I'm sure they got tape backups far undergrond in the case of nuclear destruction of the entire planet's surface.
So do you want to become the next big company? Create a crawler that goes through all photos on googleimages, match every one of them with profiles from Facebook and other social networks, and put all data on a website. Then add as many details as you can find, and hello new market leader. Lawsuits can't bother you, your content delivery network is in 40 countries. Even jail sentences don't matter while you're chilling out in India, or so. Look at The Pirate Bay, they only got a couple servers and check what they keep up. Come on, you can do it :) It will change your life, but you'll be rich as can be. That means an infinite supply of cookies and bacon. Let me repeat that: Infinite Supply of Cookies and Bacon. Om nom nom nom nom!