Usage already falling in Britain and United States as privacy fears weigh
By ROBBIE NEWKET
ECM Plus +++ Official figures show that new subscribers to Facebook are already on the decline in Britain, the USA, Russia, Norway and other developed nations with fears over privacy and concerns over business ethics taking their toll.
As happened with Friends Reunited and then Bebo, then the misery for MySpace’s meltdown of users, the star waning of seemingly unassailable titans is a relatively unseen phenomenon as some markets – usually developing markets where Internet access is still coming onstream – overshadow the actual decline in the early-adopter markets. As evidenced in this post on the London Telegraph here, the numbers are out.
And they are bleak.
The social media darling has peaked and, as with LinkedIn whose shares are tanking, the days of a glorious IPO appear to be shrinking along with the prospects of an immediate economic recovery from the 2008 banking system collapse.
For enterprises, the wholesale move of marketing muscle to Facebook now looks premature if not lemming-like. Privacy concerns, most notably the recent announcement that facial recognition of users’ personal photographs would be imposed by default are and are already being routintely analysed and ‘tagged’ according to the official name of it, and has sent shock waves around the social network’s international community with many users screaming for the exits.
Not to mention the sale of demographic information to commercial organisations, the rush to monetisation could be the catalyst that killed the goose that once promised to lay the golden IPO egg.
And there’s no apparent rabbit that can be pulled from the hat if the valediction of users is urreversable and is caused by not listening closely enough to customer concerns. Brand reputation arrives on foot but leaves on horseback. It’s what CRM was invented for. Dabbling and messing with people’s content can have a backlash of such gargantuan proportions. The law of unintended consequences applies.