Facing facebook

6 Jul

I teach frequently on social media and I always preface my class with 3 codas:
1. I am not quite responsible for the numbers. Things change within a day. Ask Marc Zukerberg. On a Friday he launched the Facebook IPO and was richer by 16 billion dollars, on Saturday his fortune was down to 9 billion dollars.
2. India has 1.3 billion people, 914 million mobilephones and only 120 million people connected to the net.
3. Facebook’s third largest country, by membership, is India, with 43 million people.
4. The next 100 million Indians to get onto the net do not possess a desktop or a laptop. They will do it on their mobilephone.
Then there are the whimsical oddities.
Last August, everyone knew that the population of our planet was 6 billion people, and that Facebook was well on its way to 1 billion members before the year was out. Cue the cute statistic that was bandied about that “soon, 1 in every 6 people on Earth would be on Facebook.”
But in last September it was confirmed that Earth is residence to 7 billion people, which derailed the “1-in-6” line. But there is more …. this year, Facebook would like you to know that by May 2012, Facebook had more than 900 million members, more than half of whom were using facebook on a mobile device. I feel like a facebook shareholder: I definitely don’t know something and I positively don’t know what it is, and I am even more confused by Facebook’s official statement about its ‘actually expecting lower returns in 2013 than we got you to expect’: “But we told whoever had to be told whatever had to be told.”
Bet you did not know that in March and April 2011, 9 million people in the US and Canada got OFF facebook. Reasons unknown. This is a year later. 9 x 12: 108 million. Is Facebook losing a million members a year?
Don’t believe me? Google it. Wait. Why Google? Did you know that you have a choice of over 100 search engines? Look it up on Wikipedia. Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines
Still prefer Google? Just want you to know that this is driving all us advertising and marketing people crazy: there is so much choice out there, it stupefies consumers and paralyses them into sticking with one brand. Gone are the days when we wanted our brands to be among the ‘evoked set’ …. Now we just want our brand to be the one people are paralysed with.
So should we now claim expertise in creating brand loyalty or an expertise in creating a brand people would rather just be paralysed with?
And one last poser: Does this update count as a cheeky misuse of Facebook’s very generous 60,000 characters allowance?

One Response to “Facing facebook”

  1. ashwinkam July 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM #

    Reblogged this on ashwinkam and commented:
    Facing Facebook

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