[Rushtalk] Zuckerberg Is Completely Ruthless..............
blueoval57 at verizon.net
Thu Dec 20 23:35:14 MST 2018
The Facebook papers are a timely reminder that Mark Zuckerberg is
ruthless about making money
Jake Kanter <https://www.businessinsider.com/author/jake-kanter>
Dec. 6, 2018, 8:01 AM
Mark Zuckerberg.JPG Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Reuters
* *The Facebook documents paint a picture of a company that is
ruthless about making money.*
* *They show that Facebook was prepared to stomp on rivals, cut data
deals, make decisions that generate bad press, and obsessively track
competitors as acquisition targets — all in the name of growth.*
* *It's a timely reminder that Facebook is a money-making juggernaut,
not a philanthropic endeavor.*
If you take one thing away from wading through 250 pages of Facebook
documents, it is this: Here is a company that is ruthless about growth.
This shouldn't be a surprise, of course. You don't get to 2.3 billion
users and $40 billion in revenue by playing nice all the time. But
rarely do we see the inner workings of a company out to make money laid
bare in such detail.
The documents, seized by British parliamentarians and published in a
redacted form on Wednesday
don't contain a catastrophic bombshell, but they do call to mind a barb
slung at Facebook earlier this year.
While being questioned by the same group of lawmakers that published the
Facebook papers, chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer was told by
Paul Farrelly, a member of parliament, that Facebook reminds him of a
famous quote about Goldman Sachs
Turning to American author and journalist Matt Taibbi's 2009 attack on
Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone,
Farrelly read the article's gambit:
"The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's
everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire
squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its
blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
The Facebook documents offer a patchy and incomplete picture of internal
discussions, sometimes bereft of context. At the center of some
illuminating moments is Mark Zuckerberg, a far cry from the gawky
product guy who created Facebook from his dorm room. He cuts a
thoughtful figure, who is involved in the details of Facebook's
revenue-generating endeavors. Bloomberg's Shira Ovide refers to him as
"The Godfather" in the Fully Charged newsletter.
The papers don't contain a smoking gun about Facebook selling the data
of its billions of users. Indeed, Facebook has repeatedly said it has
"never sold people's data."
All the ways Facebook is ruthless
But the papers, which date as far back as 2012, provide evidence that
Facebook cut deals that fell just short of selling data. Notably, it
signed off on preferential "whitelisting agreements" with firms
including Netflix and Airbnb, giving these firms great access to data.
And it wasn't just exploiting its own data that Facebook discussed and
carried out. It was also ruthless about sucking up data, the papers
show. Emails show Facebook collected Android call and SMS data to
improve its algorithms and "People You May Know" feature — despite being
aware that it would generate bad press.
Another feature of the documents is Facebook's willingness to stomp on
rivals. This manifested itself in two ways: restricting their access to
Facebook information and obsessively tracking competitors to see if they
could make potential acquisition targets.
On the former, Zuckerberg personally approved a decision to cut off
Vine's access to data
in January 2013 — just as the Twitter video app, which was shuttered in
2016, was starting out. Zuckerberg also presided over a list of rivals
and decided whether they could access its platform information or not.
On the evening before the documents were published, Facebook reversed
these kinds of restrictions as part of a policy review. The company said
it's important that its "platform remains as open as possible."
And the $19 billion deal to buy WhatsApp? Well, that came after Facebook
carefully tracked the app using Onavo, a VPN and data-analytics tool.
Onavo's data showed WhatsApp was outpacing Facebook Messenger on
engagement and message sends, according to "highly confidential" charts
in the papers. So Facebook removed the competition by bringing it in-house.
But perhaps the most telling example of Facebook's laser focus on growth
came from Zuckerberg himself when discussing his attitude toward
providing third-party apps with access to its platform in 2012. In an
email, he made the stark admission: What's good for the world isn't
necessarily what's good for Facebook
It jars somewhat with Facebook's public credo to make the world "more
open and connected." It's a timely reminder that Facebook is a ruthless
money-making juggernaut, not a philanthropic endeavor.
SEE ALSO: The secret Facebook documents have just been published
by British Parliament
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Rushtalk