By Erik Qualman
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Perception is reality. Social Media has taken us from Word of Mouth to World of Mouth. The biggest benefactor to date has been Facebook. Ironically, this new found speed of information dissemination may cause Facebook’s eventual downfall. It helps items go from perception to reality faster than you can say “status update.”
Much of Facebook’s success has been its simplicity. MySpace allows you to customize your page and they have oodles of banners to put money into their coffers, but as we’ve seen play out this muddies the waters a bit too much for the general user. Facebook on the other hand, kept items so easy to use that their user numbers skyrocketed as a result of dads and grandmothers joining in the fun:
- More than 400 million active users
- 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
Yet, when it comes to privacy, Facebook seems to continue to struggle. Going back a few years to their launch of Facebook Beacon. This tool allowed other Facebook friends to see which purchases you made online. For example if I purchased David Meerman Scott’s latest book it would alert my Facebook friends of this purchase. This is a very helpful thing, the point where Facebook stumbled is they opted every user into this tool. One famous story was the young man that purchased a diamond ring for his soon to be fiancée. Since they were connected on Facebook she was alerted of this purchase; probably not the romantic setting they had in mind.
I believe Facebook is smart enough to restore this comfort and restore it soon. If they don’t, it could be their eventual demise. After all, perception is reality, and their own tool can definitely hyper-accelerate perception into reality. Ironic, isn’t it?