There’s no denying how much Facebook plays a part in our daily lives, and in the last month or so the recent acquisitions and introduction of the new Facebook email has stirred some controversy. However, the most recent of news from the Facebook camp, is that they want us all to start using the @facebook.com email by default, which has outraged a lot of users and the backlash from this is sure to continue.
What get’s me the most, is that how non-transparent Facebook are with significant changes, forcing people to find out via other sources rather than directly from the horses’ mouth. This understandably pisses off a lot of people.
If Facebook continues in this manner and with its plan of locking its users down and monopolizing the market, be it through smartphones, photo uploads and auto-suggest face tagging, people will soon grow tired and vote with their feet. Google Buzz tried to do something similar by insisting users use the default given Google email, and look at where that is now.
Of course, this will only niggle the minority, and many of us will still go on to use Facebook on a daily basis regardless. However, Zuckerberg seems to be pushing it of late, with how much he can get away with before a major lawsuit cripples them or the Office of Fair Trading investigation proves damning and will warde off people from using Facebook’s services.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that Facebook will ever die a death in the same way of some of its lesser rivals have. Will Google+ or Twitter really threaten Zuckerberg’s social network empire? Certainly in the wake of its recent Instagram acquisition, and data capture the numbers surely lie on Facebook’s side.
The intent of Facebook is clear, though, to completely own and control the smartphone social media market and lock users into using Facebook as much as possible to reap the rewards from advertising.
But, the key question here is will people tire of Facebook antics such as altering privacy settings without informing users, and information only being released on how to alter one’s privacy settings through posts from other Facebook users. Coupled, with recent layout and functionality changes such as Timeline, which people have not really warmed to easy, it does seems as though sooner or later Facebook will make that one change which really pushes them over the point of no return.
Whether or not this will happen in the next 5 years is a tough one to call, but with the competition at this point willing to do anything to stop this snowballing effect Facebook still has, Facebook better not get complacent and too cocky.