The Facebook Era = The “Closed” Web — vincenthuberta.com
Yes, Facebook has been bringing the most traffic to websites and blogs around the world. Its power to capture everyone’s attention is remarkable. But this is not everything, they are working towards a new future.
The open web is great. How about the “closed” web? Facebook is creating an environment to contain everyone within its platform.
Now, users spend more time in Mobile Apps than in websites. Since the start, Facebook has been planning the future they are creating now. Facebook wants to be the first place everyone goes to for everything: where they connect with the people they know, discover something new, and more. To bring a great experience, Facebook will only show what is relevant to the users. The News Feed and the Ads delivered to us are designed to be relevant. Now you know why Facebook will suggest us to “like” or “rate” different topics, public figure, sports, movies, don’t you? They want to serve you what you prefer to see.
Facebook Messenger is being developed to be the next generation of conversational commerce, which will suit the emerging markets such as South-east Asia. It is open for developers to develop services within the platform. To bring a “great” experience, users do not need to go to other websites, they can just purchase within FB Messenger.
Instagram’s algorithm will be launched to only show what we want to see, to show what is relevant to us. We can’t see all our following’s post anymore. Even if we can it will be organized in a way that is most relevant to us. The whole idea is to keep us within Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and soon: Oculus VR. They are in the business of attention. Because when we stay there, they can monetize from us. I mean, if you sit in a coffee shop, you would order a cup of coffee.
Various efforts have done by Facebook to ensure its plan will be a success.
FbStart is a program from Facebook that helps mobile startups succeed. Together with some great partners, Facebook is offering a package of free tools and services designed to help you build and grow your mobile app. Facebook also provides year-round mentorship opportunities to connect directly with the Facebook team as well as an exclusive community of global startups. They really support App developers to build within their platform.
Internet.org has been introducing people in developing countries about the internet for the first time. In Indonesia, if you go to small towns or villages, people would think that the internet IS Facebook. Does Facebook purposely introduce the internet to them in that way? Or they just misunderstood? I hope it is not the former.
Then, what’s the problem?
What happens to the open web where we can discover something new, to develop our minds, to challenge our perceptions?
When we are only introduced to what is relevant to us, we become close-minded. We are only shown what we think is RIGHT, we are only shown what we think is GOOD. The history of education explains differently. We are introduced to a broad knowledge at school. We learn by being challenged with exams and homework. We constantly challenge our minds. Our parents taught us about the right core values, they taught us what is right and what is wrong. They develop our characters. They influence the way we think and learn.
Facebook now is like a magazine that will dynamically show what you like, not what you need. It is like a playground where we can play whatever we want, Facebook will always please you as long as you don’t come out of that playground.
So, I would suggest all of us step out of the playground. Discover new “irrelevant” information, understand other’s “irrelevant” perceptions and opinions, explore new “irrelevant” opportunities.
If Albert Einstein only read and consumed similar relevant information, what would the world be today?
If Elon Musk chose the mainstream information, would we have Tesla and SpaceX?
Go to Google / Bing / Yahoo, search whatever you are curious about. Discover new things, don’t just stay on the first page of the results. Don’t let a machine show you only what you loved yesterday. Most of us disliked maths, physics, or biology at school. But some of the things we hated actually contribute to our lives today, don’t they?
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Originally published at vincenthuberta.com on June 5, 2016.