Facebook Stops Innovating Out of Fear?


It seems like Facebook is so scared of the press that it is no longer innovating. Over the last few months there have been fewer changes from the social media site. It all seemed to come to a halt after the announcement that the company had allowed researchers to conduct a study without individuals knowing about it.

At the start of July, the social media giant came under fire for allowing researchers to use data collected from individuals. Users only found out that their newsfeeds had been manipulated and they were involved in the study due to the results. Facebook instantly apologized, but it did not make it right. Users felt violated.

Many people have started to lose trust in the social network giant due to various privacy complaints. The latest is from the Facebook Messenger app, which requires access to the camera and address book when downloaded onto smartphones.

Because so many people are losing trust, the Silicon Valley company needs to do something positive. It seems that no more research is the way to do that, which will mean no more innovation. This could put a halt on various academic studies that require social media platforms. It could also cause problems for the 2016 elections.

According to one study, 2.2 percent more people turned out to the 2012 elections. Something similar was noticed with the Scottish independence debate in September. More people used the social media site to discuss the political options and debate over their ideals. All that could be lost if Facebook really is no longer innovating out of fear.

This week will see the main changes by the social media site not getting as involved as it usually would in politics. It will only offer the same “I’m a voter” button for all users for the mid-term elections this week. In the past, the button has allowed people to share more information and told Facebook how it helped to encourage people to get to the polls and share their vote.

It seems that the negative press over the last few years has done enough to stop the social media giant from innovating. While there is a saying “all press is good press,” that seems to be the opposite for Mark Zuckerberg’s site. More and more people are turning to different social media sites, especially the younger generations.

The changes and mistrust are not all to blame. Some younger people are leaving as their parents join the site. They simply do not want their parents be able to see what they are up to or what they really think.

The lack of innovation could also be due to the company becoming more privacy conscious, as the world becomes more privacy conscious. People do not want to find their status updates or photos all over the internet. The company is already taking a step back and giving people more power to decide instantly who they want to see their updates. Is Facebook stopping the innovation out of fear, or is it doing things in a different way because that is what the users want?

Opinion by Alexandria Ingham


Venture Beat

Guardian Liberty Voice

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