Is it time for brands to unfriend Facebook?

Is it time for brands to unfriend Facebook?

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source Everything has a price. A once 10p Freddo is now lurking around the £50 price point. A pint of beer in central London requires a small payday loan. So, why did we expect Facebook to be any different? The news of a data breach should not really come as a shock.

Instead of asking for money, Facebook banks on sharing data. In order for us to stalk old school friends, post pictures of our pets and wish ex-colleagues a happy birthday – forget bitcoin – data is the new currency.

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Although we ‘opt-in’ to sharing certain details about ourselves (and some people have no problem airing all their personal details independently), the extent of information the social media giant has been harvesting has remained pretty much unknown.

Since The Guardian reported that Cambridge Analytica had used over 50 million Facebook profiles to build a system that could target political voters, we’ve discovered the depth of information they have retained is astonishingly creepy. This includes recording phone call details, collecting the metadata from text messages, and even prying into private emails. Sharing this information illegally with third-party apps, has also been reported.

Is it time for me to unfriend Facebook?

I still reach for my phone. I still find my thumb hovering over and opening the Facebook App to mindlessly scroll. I’m not thinking about the data Facebook are collecting from every ‘like’, link click and follow. (Or the information that is being mined from my phone contacts, emails and alike).

Has muscle memory made my unconscious brand loyalty so strong that I’m able to forgive Facebook and overlook this data breach? Has Facebook managed to ingrain itself so deeply into my daily life that I’m unable to disconnect?

When it comes to both its users and its brands – how far does Facebook have to push us before we finally #DeleteFacebook?

Is it time for you to unfriend Facebook?

It appears there are a few people more actively concerned about their digital privacy.

If you look at the Google Trends data for the term ‘Delete Facebook’, you will see that the queries have increased exponentially since the Facebook data breach was first reported.

Already the number of people searching for that term is trailing off, as the data breach hype slowly begins to die down. However, the damage is already done.

Marketing week reported that 7.66% of users have deleted their account. This may sound like a relatively small number, but once you scale it up to 2.9 million users of Facebook’s apparent 38 million users – that’s quite a significant movement.

A further 34% of users have updated their privacy settings, myself now included.

follow url Should brands unfriend Facebook?

Brands are currently in limbo. If they choose to continue advertising on Facebook, are brands turning a blind eye to privacy corruption? Will it damage their brand reputation?

If brands react quickly, will it fit with their brand purpose? But, if they refuse to advertise on Facebook, will it come across as little more than a PR Stunt?

“There are PR benefits right now in announcing a boycott, but ultimately what will matter for most advertisers is return on media investment.”Matti Littunen, Enders Analysis

Mozilla became the first brand to announce their break from Facebook advertising – pressing pause on any affiliations with the brand.

In a blog post from their Chief Business and Legal Officer, Denelle Dixon the brand stated that they wouldn’t be returning to the platform until “Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings wfor third party apps.

Everyone’s favourite entrepreneur, Elon Musk, called for Tesla and SpaceX to be pulled from Facebook  on Friday (23rd March). This was followed by unlikely social warrior, Playboy, deleting their Facebook accounts on Tuesday (27th March).

In all instances the brands have remained active on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. If brands choose to overlook the data breach, their stance on #DeleteFacebook looks incredibly contrived. Making this moment part of your brand purpose could do more damage than good.

buy Pregabalin canada The Facebook Data breach – what happens now?

‘It would take a lot of brands pulling advertising to have a significant impact on Facebook’s business. eMarketer estimates its ad revenues will hit $48.9bn (£35.5bn) globally this year.’ – Marketing Week

There can’t be an impactful mass-advertising exodus until they fully understand the consumer opinion. If target audiences abandon the platform because of the data breach, it will give brands legitimacy to do the same. How many users does the platform need to lose before Facebook becomes unattractive to advertisers?

For now, brands find themselves in the tricky spot between a PR stunt and losing credibility with their customers. If they strike the balance right, they may earn themselves some respect.

As for me? I’m still scrolling, cautiously scrolling.

 

 

 

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