Mullenweg: Twiter and Facebook selling their Users as product harms Advertising too

Stephen Shankland writing for Cnet picked up on an astute observation by Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automatic and essentially WordPress.  The comments came on the recent fight between Facebook via pawn Instagram and Twitter.

“No user is saying, ‘I don’t want my Instagram photos not to show up on Twitter.’ It’s a bad user experience,” Mullenweg said. “The Internet titans would love for you to choose between one or the other,” but that doesn’t work out well because people use multiple services.

Twitter, too, has been harming users. “What’s best for advertisers on Twitter’s platform isn’t for there to be 20 different clients, or for tweets to be embedded around the Web,” Mullenweg said. On Twitter and Facebook, users are the product that’s being sold to advertisers, he said.

No matter where this fight ultimately ends up, the observation is extremely valid.  Both companies are waging a war against each other and ultimately they are using their own users as weapons.  That stems from a relatively flawed business model where the user for twitter and facebook and instagram is the product sold as Matt puts it.

These skirmishes tend to upset those users.  The brand behind the problem suffers the public hit, and their advertisers then find it even more difficult to penetrate those users and get a positive advertising result.  What user is going to be happily disposed towards Facebook advertising if Facebook just made it more difficult to interact with their friends, family and followers?  Same goes for Instagram or Twitter for that matter.  All of these premeditated strategic business moves essentially just make the user more hardened to the immature business of social media.

They are squandering their goodwill, and for a company trying to sell advertising to make a buck that is a very broken strategy.

Image by cnet.com ((Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET))

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