Just a few years ago folks were worried about the prospect of Googlezon – some ungodly alliance between Google and Amazon that would subjugate the human race.
It’s Facebook ’em, Danno we need to worry about.
Exhibit A: Facebook Commenting.
Via Steve’s Blog:
How Facebook is Killing Your Authenticity
We all know that the delineation between public and private was eroded by Facebook a long time ago. Over. Done. But now Facebook’s sheer scale is pushing it in a new direction, one that encroaches on your authenticity.
Facebook is no longer a social network. They stopped being one long before the movie. Facebook is really a huge broadcast platform. Everything that happens between its walls is one degree away from being public, one massive auditorium filled with everyone you’ve ever met, most of whom you haven’t seen or spoken to in years.
Last week a bunch of massive sites across the web, including TechCrunch, adopted Facebook commenting. The integration of the formatting and fonts is so strong that when you’re reading comments you actually feel like you are on Facebook, not a tech focused vertical site.
The problem, Steve says, is that people “don’t want one normalized identity, either in real life, or virtually.”
People, he contends, want to craft different identities for different situations, but the Facebooking of the web eliminates that possibilty. When Facebook becomes the dominant plumbing of the digital world and provides the launch pad for most of what we do there, it sets identity in amber.
[F]orcing people to comment – and more broadly speaking to log-on – with one identity puts a massive stranglehold on our very nature. I’m not too worried about FB Comments in isolation, but the writing is on the wall: all of this off-site encroachment of the Facebook graph portends where FB is really going in pushing one identity. And a uniform identity defies us.
Face it, authenticity goes way down when people know their 700 friends, grandma, and 5 ex-girlfriends are tuning in each time they post something on the web.
It might seem counterintuitive that the defining characteristic of authenticity is multiplicity, but it’s certainly worth considering before you become a Facebookworm.
Exhibit B: Facebook Movie Rentals
This week Warner Bros. Entertainment announced that it will start renting movies via Facebook, a development that Social Media Insider’s Catherine Taylor finds portentous:
[A]s the pundits are saying, the most important thing about this isn’t that movies are being streamed over Facebook; it’s that the move – which seems to have been initiated by Warner Bros. — is another sign that whatever we think Facebook is, it’s potentially much more. It’s a platform for just about anything that can be delivered over digital channels, which could mean movies, or e-commerce, or gaming. It’s also another sign of the transformation of Facebook from a mere social network (the use of the adjective “mere” is in jest), to an integral part of more and more.
Let’s rewrite that still-in-use slogan for cotton: If cotton is “the fabric of our lives,” Facebook is the platform of our lives.
And the train for other megasites – Amazon, Google, PayPal, Netflix – just might be leaving the platform.