Facebook’s on a Race to Get Your Credit Card
Not long ago, we’ve included Facebook amongst the companies that have disappointed us the most in 2012, which comes quickly to an end. It wasn’t such a big disappointment for users but rather for those who have invested in the company, an investment that hasn’t yet paid up. Therefore, Facebook wants to make things right also for that category of people. Facebook wants to make more money.
Facebook’s the second most visited website in the world but it’s not making as much money as one would expect them to. And after a failed Initial Public Offering, Zuckerberg and his colleagues are looking for inventive ways to monetize the biggest social network in the world. And these ways don’t have anything to do with advertising.
Facebook looks desperate to make more money
If Facebook’s previous ideas of making money didn’t make me raise eyebrows, this one does. Apparently, the Palo Alto company is testing a service where sending out messages to persons you don’t know could cost $1. At first, it seems just like a very bad idea, right? Who’s going to pay that money? But I think Facebook’s being very slick with this one.
Even now, you can send messages to almost everybody on Facebook, provided that they didn’t set restricted privacy settings. So, to a certain extent, it doesn’t really adds up – you can’t befriend a certain person (she won’t accept your friendship or other reasons) but you can send her messages. Facebook’s experiment (because it’s not yet official) will protect those that don’t want to receive messages from strangers and will put a barrier in front of those who’re just “trolling around”.
Fighting spam or just a pretext to get your credit card?
After all, if it’s a very important message, you can pay $1 to send it, right? If not, then it simply means that it’s just not that important. And here are more scenarios where this update could come in handy for some persons:
Facebook argues it would be useful if you were, for example, planning a surprise party for a friend through Facebook. Four of the five people you are inviting to this party are friends with you as well, but one is not. You could make sure the fifth person gets the invite in their Inbox, instead of the “other” folder, by paying the $1. Additionally, there are people — recruiters, job seekers, public relations folks or journalists who use Facebook to network.
But, as it makes sense for Facebook to implement this feature, it doesn’t seem “correct” from another point of view. Right now, if you’ve set up privacy settings right, messages from strangers will go to your “Other” label on Facebook, thus, protecting you form unwanted spam. If such a feature will be enabled, Facebook’s system will assure senders that their messages get delivered to the destination. So, it will reduce “mass spam”, such as messages about Viagra or Rolex but it will open the gates to your inbox for a buck.
Facebook’s not free anymore?
Many of you have probably heard about the “Promote” tool. I did but I never imagined it’s THAT scary until I tried it myself. You can either pay with the existing Credits balance or directly with your mobile phone, credit card or PayPal balance. Why would you do that? Well, on Facebook, we all know how you can catch up a bigger audience – by placing higher in news feeds what you shared. So, if your friend or you have paid to promote something, it will appear the first or amongst the first in their news feed, being labeled as “Sponsored”. You’ll also get a receipt for your payment.
But this tool is causing frustration amongst users all over the world. It makes you feel that you don’t own something that should be rightfully yours. I sometimes get the feeling that the guys at Facebook think their product will last forever. I’m 100% sure it will last much, much longer than any other social network, but they can’t keep on doing this – not giving a damn on what we think. And it’s not just the money but also the privacy. C’mon, is it not enough that you have 1 BILLION members, how can you be that greedy? Mahesh hits the nail on the head:
Look at Apple – they went after profit and nothing else. Stopped giving better value. The iPhone 5 is a thinner, longer KLPD. And they’re somewhere on the road to being screwed. You know what, you’re further down that path than they are. So once again – I’m not going to pay to get this post out. Maybe my friends will see it. Maybe some will share it. Maybe some won’t.
So, more friends you have, more money you have to pay out of your pocket to be sure they see what you shared. As I think about this more and more, I realize that Facebook’s not being run anymore only by Zuckerberg. Maybe I’ve been influenced by The Social Network movie, but I used to think Mark didn’t care too much for money, but for the success of his company. The IPO itself, and the period after it, were the biggest mistakes Facebook did. And this rush for money isn’t doing them any good.