gossipFacebook is starting to develop a touch of the same condition that afflicts Google, Microsoft and every other large technology company. They’ve gotten so big that you almost have to mistrust them a little bit. They control the digital lives of 350 million people. That’s an unbelievable amount of power. So when the company sets out to be standard for online identification — it’s understandable that this would make some privacy advocates upset.

But should you be worried? Some business owners might think that having a single online ID with loose privacy control is heaven. Just think about all that data, all that potential for referrals and viral marketing — it’s a dream come true. But social networks are only as useful as their members, and if Facebook tries to pull a fast one on their membership, it could hurt them in the long run. There’s no shortage of networks out there that want to be the next Facebook. Having a privacy and security policy that strongly favored users might be the one thing a fledgling networks could use to compete with the Facebook juggernaut.

Are you worried about Facebook’s growing footprint? Do you think it’s good or bad for businesses? Could users be driven away by a network’s privacy policy?

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8 responses to “Is Facebook too big for its own good?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SmartBrief on SocMed, Paul J Schmidt. Paul J Schmidt said: RT @sbosm Is Facebook too big for their own good? http://bit.ly/5D9mCp […]

  2. Jay Baer says:

    I think especially with Facebook Connect, we need to be a bit wary of Facebook being the new hub, and everyone else being a spoke. Further, insofar as corporations continue to tilt their social media outreach efforts toward the Facebook platform, I’m concerned about building social outposts on what amounts to rented land.

    I just told a newspaper yesterday that the company to fear in the next decade isn’t Google, it’s Facebook. Google’s YouTube just announced that it, too, is implementing Facebook Connect. That’s all the evidence I need – although there’s a lot more.

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  6. Sherri says:

    Jesse – You always write some thoughtful posts. My concern is that some of Facebook’s recent decisions reflect a drive toward increasing the value of the company among the business community (potential shareholders?). The (individual) Facebook user doesn’t (always) appear to be the top priority and our privacy could be sacrificed for higher profits.

    Jay- Interesting point. I never thought of Facebook as the social media hub while others serve as spokes. I’m thinking (corporate) social media efforts must move beyond the Facebook Fan page.

  7. I hope facebook will not turn into something that only promoter use with no potential info seekers.

  8. Jesse Stanchak says:

    Thanks Sherri. I’m inclined to agree with you. And what’s more, I think it’ll end up hurting them in the end.