Thursday, February 19, 2009

From AdRants: Facebook begs users to stay

Adrants has noticed that when users try to delete their account, they get a little "please stay" message. The Facebook Blog has more about issues regarding the Terms of Services.

Is it just me, or does Facebook not really understand where it's going? How is it going to monetize itself? What's it's role in the future of social networking?

I heard from a friend that Mark Zuckerberg has actually stated he doesn't intend to have a formal business plan for Facebook for three years. I guess for now he's just winging it.

Will investors still be around in three years?

On the one hand, I like the idea of Facebook only monetizing in a way that provides value to its users. On the other hand, I haven't seen a lot of evidence that this will happen. Facebook's greatest asset is the information it collects, but, because of the Terms of Service, there's only so much they can do with that information.

Then again, there is quite a bit of info out there that can be merged with Facebook. Dave here at the office found a Facebook app for doing criminal record checks (at least in the US). What we've found so far is that basically everyone has a record for driving without a seatbelt or speeding or something.

The Internet opens up a whole whack of privacy issues, mostly because people don't understand what's private and what's public (which isn't always their fault). Social networks are going to have to be very careful going forward how they treat their users. I suspect that people will start to show their appreciation for those platforms that clearly demonstrate that they respect the rights of their registered users.

For now, it does appear that Facebook is trying to do this, while they balance it with where the website will go in the future.