Public opinion of Facebook has never been lower, and the company could really do with some friends right now. What was once considered a place where you could message distant relatives, post epic meal time snaps and watch the latest #crazes from around the internet, has now become somewhat a bit unsettling. After a series of PR catastrophes, Facebook is looking to repair the damage and win back their fans.
Pulse discusses a few reasons why Facebook might eventually lose its crown as king of social.
Facebook has survived attacks from multiple directions. But Cambridge Analytica wasn’t going to be so easy to dodge. The British company had been collecting masses of personal information from Facebook users since June 2014 and eventually amassed data from over 50 million people without them knowing.
We know 99% of people who sign up to Facebook, don’t read the terms and conditions, and only a minority of people are aware that everything you post, like, share or comment ties back to targeted advertising.
However, this unprecedented breach of data brought identity theft and data manipulation to the forefront. If you didn’t know that Facebook was spying on you, then you certainly do now.
Through gritted teeth and reluctant typing, Facebook executives admitted that platform growth was slowing and that they were failing to meet projections. Throw in the fact that new security safeguards to combat the Cambridge Analytica scandal would raise the cost of business and suddenly the company lost $100 billion. In one day. This was the biggest drop in US stock market history. Not only are the users losing faith, but so are their investors.
Virtual Reality Blunder
In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg and colleague, Rachel Frankin, showcased Facebook’s new virtual reality live-stream platform, Facebook Spaces. VR was the industry buzz and the concept of socializing with friends in remote places sounds exciting. The only problem is, the executives decided to record the video against the backdrop of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
The avatars could be seen smiling, high fiving each other and described the experience as ‘magical’. This enormously insensitive marketing stunt centred completely around the tech-service rather than the heartfelt plight of the locals.
In a time when millennials care the most about corporate responsibility and their obligation to help those in need, this definitely damaged brand affinity with platform users.
Where to now?
To say Facebook has lost their audience’s trust is a massive understatement. Over the next few months, the social network must do all it can to repair relationships and commit to more transparent terms and conditions. However, this won’t be an easy task especially when the core of their business model is turning information into profit.