What kind of wizardry do these companies use?
Most of the large corporations and companies today all have one end-goal in common. They want to find ways to keep you using or buying whatever they provide or sell. We are usually very careful about what we buy, especially if we’re going to spend money on something. Most of us never stop to wonder: “How come other companies don’t offer the same services for free?”, “Do they expect us to spend our money on their product, when we have several other free services available online?”. We all enjoy using things for free, but nothing is truly for free. We should always be careful before using or accepting something for free, especially online.
How does a social media website like Facebook survive? The more people use their product, the more their ad profits thrive. To put it more simply, they sell, use, or analyze your private data and browsing history altogether. From ad companies to sponsored posts, Facebook is constantly monitoring your browsing experience behind the hood, to intelligently force push content that is more relevant to you, which in turn makes it more likely that you’ll click on the ad — and so, more money flows in.
Most of these companies spend hundreds of hours on research every year on implementing methods to study or predict human behaviors. They use these techniques first and foremost to keep you locked in. The right emotion placed right in front of you. They make billions from advertising content and from the same millions of active users using their own services. For example, by launching a campaign to have more “likes” on your Facebook page. You are paying for something they brought into existence. Could this be the only way you can promote yourself?
Should I remind you that you don’t own that data anyways? If this is you, maybe you should learn how to start driving more traffic to your own platform instead. To trust the people that follow you and appreciate what you do. There’s nothing better than a curated and thoughtfully built environment that is uniquely built for your audience. You shouldn’t be spending money on “like” campaigns — but rather use this money to drive more traffic to your own service or platform. If you don’t have one, it’s never too late to start either. There’s no reverse button, the Internet is the future, and there’s no escaping it at this point. I have a feeling that Facebook just won’t cut it till the end. For example, I think that an “ad-free” environment is crucial for such a platform to survive a future world of Internet computing. We should start to think differently in ways that we can support our platform, and help others in return.
Facebook’s core value and goal is very simple, but easily ignored — keep the user as engaged as possible, and the money keeps flowing in. Their concept and idea is that with each feature they provide, they will continue to make the experience of their application unbeatable, hence drawing you even more in. It’s you that can suffer, not them.
There are already billions of active users on some of these social media websites. What happens when that percentage gets closer to the worlds’ population? Suddenly, these companies have the power to control the billions of audience’s behaviors from their platforms. If that doesn’t scare you, then I might as well pack everything and go with Musk to Mars. These companies know what they’re doing, and they know that Internet communication technologies and online applications have basically become immortal by now. These companies see how easy it can be to manipulate users on the Internet and reach a bigger audience online. Bigger audience brings bigger stakes on their plates, and bigger stakes brings bigger power. Unfortunately, having so much power makes them blind to the real effects that their applications are having on the rest of us using it on a daily basis. I never received any real (business) value from using a platform like Facebook, and I would be happy to hear success stories that don’t involve cats and pandas around there.
We have even bigger companies such as Google that offer many more free services like Google Maps, Analytics, Hangouts (chats), YouTube, Gmail, and much more, to continue learning human behaviors, and to potentially use this data to create greater minds than human minds. If not all, they already probably own half of your life’s worth of digital data online. We also know that Google is the leading company in Artificial Intelligence, and what comes next is inevitable, but unknown.