The New York Times has a fairly depressing and cringeworthy blog post about how Facebook will “create it’s own future” by “understanding the internet better than anyone else”. Sorry if I misquoted this drivel. I can’t bear to open the tab again to reread it. If ever there was a reason why Facebook cannot control its own future, one should look at the recent Instagram purchase. $1bn was an astronomic sum, but Instagram wasn’t made by Facebook. Instagram was a great thing to do instead of Facebook.
Facebook is reactive, rather than active. Clever though Facebook is, it has always seemed to me like a reaction to other trends, from the user’s perspective. From the money making angle, there’s never been anything like it. But does that logic make us think that Exxon is the coolest company in the world? No. Facebook is an insidious, sad organization committed to spying and monetizing the entire existence of its users. Google arguably does the same but at least they provided a tool that changed the world for the better.
Once you remember that every move, every waking thought of Facebook’s “team” is about squeezing a few cents out of innumerable diaries of nobodies, it doesn’t seem so awfully hard to ignore.