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Is Facebook the “evil” of social media?

on Dec 31 in business, facebook, google, social media, strategy, technology, trends posted by

A furore over Facebook’s censorship of breastfeeding photos makes me wonder if the company is thinking carefully through its strategy. In particular, is it becoming “evil” analogously to Microsoft? (The word “evil” is meant to characterize the company’s monopoly on operating systems and consequent domination of the PC industry, perhaps deriving from “evil empire”.)

But for Facebook, things might not turn out so well. The social media industry is evolving day-by-day and any slip up could spell future loss of market share.

Case in point is Facebook Connect compared with Google’s Friend Connect. Both rolled out recently, but Facebook’s offering is dauntingly complex for the average blogger or Web user. (Hmm, reminiscent of Microsoft’s OS compared with Mac.)

Facebook Connect comprises seven steps of which the first has eight sub-steps. Friend Connect requires four steps to get started (compare Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Screen shot of Facebook’s Connect instructions (not all steps are included in the screen shot).

Figure 2. Screen shot of Google’s Friend Connect instructions.

So is Facebook going down the same path as Microsoft? Will Facebook continue with its heavy-handed top-down dictates on top of poor product management to boot? It’s taken years for Microsoft to turn around (they are at least trying to “get it”). Will Facebook be more nimble?

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