Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is Facebook the most Socially Irresponsible Company?

There are very few companies who have seen the growth like Facebook did. The social media leader is one of the most visited sites in the world, and boost of having 200 million registered users. All this has in just 5 years of operation. Wow!!

I was not a fan of Facebook until last year when I realized Orkut's irresponsibility in handling the issue of hacked groups and junk messages. I slowly moved from Orkut to Facebook and in a year FB became my choice of social media site.

The suddenly Facebook announces change in its looks and starts giving higher importance to live update. This is something I preferred the least. I used to hate it when few friends would update too often to push other’s update down. Hell!! Facebook gave higher weightage to something I disliked; and if that was not enough, I have absolutely no choice to go back to earlier version.

 What was the reason behind all this? It’s the rise in popularity of Micro-blogging site, Twitter. I admit that I am a big fan and regular user of Twitter. But that doesn’t stop me from hating the redesigning of Facebook. I have different approaches to both these sites and I wish to continue using them the way I have always like to.

 Here are few reasons why I hate Facebook redesign.

 1. Twitter for exploration; Facebook for friendship

I was hardly looking to make new friends at Facebook, and in Twitter I do. I listen to a lot of people and I talk to them in Twitter; this is more of exploration. After a while, I turn back to a friend in Facebook for personal chats.

 2. Twitter is Facebook’s rival not mine

Why does Facebook force me to chat with friends in public and listen to what my friend is cooking? Is this just because Twitter is getting its share of Social Media buzz!! This is not a valid argument. I am fuming!

 3. Facebook didnot care to ask me

How I wish Facebook had asked its users if they would consider such an option. It’s suddenly imposing a new way on me and expecting me to oblige. Damn!

4. No backward compatibility

If this wasn’t enough, I don’t even have the flexibility to go back and use the old look which I was more than comfortable with. Isn't this like a father finding girl for you, and saying, "hey, you are gonna date her from today. Leave your girlfriend now!"


History Repeats Itself?

 The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of current redesign is “History Repeats Itself”. People and companies make mistakes mostly out of fear and greed. The reality could be different from what they see. Let me discuss few incidents that has happened in past.

 Sweet Coke:

Coco-Cola was having a great lead in US Market and Pepsi was rising fast. This posed a threat to the Coco-Cola Company and they made a strategy to hit Pepsi. They changed the formula of Cococola and made it sweet. They were bullish in their strategy and were targeting to kill Pepsi; but the result was hazardous. They lost huge market share to Pepsi not because people liked Pepsi more but because people were upset in not finding their favorite drink in the market. They turned to Pepsico.

Cococola soon realized its mistake and was fast to track back!


Soundless Harley:

Harley Davidson faced intense competition from the Japanese rivals, who mostly manufactured the soundless sports bikes. They were losing market share for many quarters, and then launched the soundless Harleys in the Market to fight the Japs.

Result was horrifying. People liked Harley for the sound and when it went soundless there wasn’t any reason to buy it. Further it was an emotional backlash on Harley users group.

 Harley realized its mistake soon and then got back to its original form. They are even now loved for the sound.


Live Facebook:

I am still not convinced with the reason for Facebook to make itself a Twitter look-alike. Twitter has a user base of around 8 million and Facebook 200 million. 

 Now the questions remain.

1. Do Twitter's quick 8 millions weigh more than the Facebook's huge 200 millions?

2. Did Twitter actually take away Facebook users? Or is this just a Twitter killing strategy of Facebook after they rejected its buyout offer?

3. Has the investment from Microsoft also brought their culture of not listening to users and forcing new things to Facebook?

4. Would this make traditional Facebook users move to its rivals, Myspace and Orkut or will they remain with Facebook?

5. Is Facebook the most Socially Irresponsible Social Media Company ever born?

 Well these questions need to be answered. My take is – What Facebook has done is wrong and it has hurt the sentiments of people like us. They have made our life more difficult and they have taken us for granted.

 This makes Facebook the most Socially Irresponsible Company today! Agree? Do not forget to share your view as comment here.  


PS: Please particpate in the Facebook user review Poll on the top right hand side of this blog. Let’s take our voice to Facebook.

More readings on Social Media:


SvB said...

Well, if you are a lion, you don't need to bark to a dog :-)

Interesting analysis !

Marius K said...

I think you should check the settings of Facebook before getting pissed off :) If seriously I see this situation this way: Facebook started status updates long time ago. People found them interesting, therefore Twitter and its clones are so popular. Once Facebook see the Twitter as competitor, they have tried to work more on micro-blogging what aroused some of conservative minded people anger. That's normal as all new systems are worse than old ones in the beginng, but after 3 months usage people cannot tell how the old system looked like ;)

Sera Melinda said...

"I use to get pissed off when few friends update too much to push others update down. Hell!!"

Totally agree with that statement. That's why i choose friends to be approved carefully.

.::~P~::. said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you. I chose Facebook 2 years ago and since it keeps changing, I've been seeking other sites. The recent changes are definitely worse then the previous. It's very messy and way too big.

ankita said...

cant agree with u more.
they two were there for different roles.
u took out words from my mind.
facebook was for friends.
this is like such an overload of information.

unitechy said...

I totally agree. I chose to be active on twitter and facebook for completely diff reasons. FAcebook copying twitter din't impress me.

Anonymous said...

Does it really matter ???
The added feature is since long in Facebook and it is up to the user to use it or not.

Is your getting pissed off a concern for the other 200 million users who are using it and loving it. Neither for the company nor for the other users.

Anant said...

hehe dude... Chill out n start workin instead of wasting ur time on Facebook and Twitter nonsense.... lol

Anonymous said...

Something I hate about Twitter: getting spammed by people like you who want to follow a random person such as me.

Something I hate about Facebook: the overprivileged users who whine about a free service.

Mari L. said...

Very interesting analysis.

I am mixed about the new Facebook but tending towards the positive. I wish FB would provide a video or some help on how to use this new FB. I like being able to hide my friends' comments (some just like to talk, talk, talk and don't get that FB is not Twitter). If I'm so inclined, I can read their profile later

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