Facebook Capitulates

The pressure worked on Facebook (Again.)

According to this story in the New York Times, Facebook has once again made a change, angered their users, and then have to backtrack.



The word choices are interesting.  Facebook talks about the “feedback” they received.  How about: canceled accounts, deleted files, and angry emails.  I suppose that’s “feedback.”

What is really interesting though is that they have reverted back to the old TOS “…while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”  Just what does that mean?  Does that mean they will not go back? They will more clearly state that they will only keep material that is cross-linked to other people’s accounts? Or does it mean that they will try again when no one is looking?

Given that I asked the question about “Outcome Focused Performance” a few posts back, I can’t help but wonder what “outcome” Facebook (the corporation) has in mind with their decisions.  Obviously every business has financial success as their goal, but that is usually achieved through a mix of product, service, and value that attracts customers.

Facebook doesn’t really generate revenue directly from the users.  We pay no fee to join, no monthly account maintenance fee, and no data storage fee.  One could argue they have no obligation to us, and that there is no “contract” since no money changes hands.  Therefore they should be able to do whatever they wish.  The revenue that Facebook generates is a direct result of our being there, but is derived from our presence, and our activity.  Given this, Facebook’s action in changing the TOS could be viewed as a business simply hoping to extend their opportunities for revenue through the users.

Of course, I think they are losing sight of one important fact–we are guests.  Now, some would remind us that guests should “behave themselves” when in someone else’s house.  True enough.

But Facebook should remember that they need to be gracious hosts.


n.b.:The link identified in the article excerpt above is here.


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