Why Facebook doesn’t really care what you think

Social media giants claim to be a cross-border monopoly network beyond control Peter Martin.

What is the difference between Google and Facebook?

One difference is last week’s Google I agreed Paying Australian news outlets for their content in the face of threats of government action to force it.

Facebook Did not, Temporarily remove Australian news sources from feed, that’s the decision Reversal After winning Scope of concessions..

Another reason is that.

That’s where Google faces competition, while Facebook doesn’t.

In economist terms, it’s Facebook’s rare “Network effectThere is almost no Google.

If you want to switch from Google to another search engine (What i did) It costs me almost nothing. It can be difficult to navigate your search history (although there are probably apps for it), but otherwise the new search engine will be the same or better or worse than what I left behind. I can find it freely.

Google is facing competition

This means that Google is forced to protect itself from competition (or the threat of competition) by providing very good services.

Facebook is not.A relatively new concept in economics, the idea of ​​network effects came from at least 1908, when the president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company Theodore Bale, Spelled it out in a letter to shareholders.

“A phone with no connection on the other side of the line is neither a toy nor a scientific instrument,” he writes. “This is one of the most useless things in the world. Its value depends on the connections with other phones and increases with the number of connections.”

Facebook barely faces

Since then, this idea has been Formula, But you don’t have to go into the details. The world’s first phone wasn’t really useful, and the second phone allowed one household to reach only one other household. But by the time it reaches millions and one is installed in almost every household, each phone will be very valuable and that household will be able to reach almost every other household. I did.

Startups trying to compete with the phone system will offer a very unattractive product. Until the majority of the population signs up, we can’t provide something like a connection to an existing system. That is, people are reluctant to sign up and remain unattractive.

That’s what Bale was saying. When it gets big enough, the telephone service becomes closer to a natural monopoly. It doesn’t make sense for anyone to set up competitors (in Australia, competing companies, Telstra, Optus, etc. do not share a single network).

The· ASX Stock Exchange Like eBay, it’s another example. You could try to sell something on another platform, but the number of potential customers isn’t that high, so the price may not be that high.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission puts it Here it is A Facebook report reports that even if the government makes it easy for users to switch to another network, it probably requires the transfer of data.

If a user’s friends and family are not away from Facebook, the user is unlikely to switch platforms.

The “lock-in” that occurs when you feel that your network has to be used by a very large number of people means that you don’t have to deal with it specifically to maintain it.

Without Facebook, it’s hard to know what your family and friends are doing.
Gil C / Shutterstock

17 million Australians use Facebook every four weeks. This is the majority of the population, an even larger proportion of the population over the age of 14 (80%).

Without Facebook, it would be difficult to know what family, friends, and long-lost classmates are doing, whether or not Facebook provides news. You don’t have to treat your users properly to keep them.

Facebook is completely different from the telephone system. Young people find the fact that so many older people can use it to turn off and go elsewhere. But already for Australians (most Australians), it’s worth the stay.

And there is room for a smaller professional network.

Linkedin We have our own network for people who are concerned about the job market. If it’s the world you’re in, it’s wise to be there because of the huge number of other such people out there. It doesn’t make much sense to leave it for something else.

Winner takes everything

That wasn’t always the case for Facebook. 15 years ago My space It was how people connected, but not so many. It wasn’t growing enough to take over the network effect. When they did, there was only one clear winner, which happened to be Facebook.

Now it doesn’t even do that bad (Roy Morgan finds it to be Australian The least trusted Brand) can stop most people from using it.

Australian COVID campaigns other than Facebook.

Just as people who want to turn on electricity generally have to use an electric company, people who want to get on a train generally use the railroad, and people who want to drive a car generally have to buy gasoline. It will not be. Touch generally requires Facebook to be used.

This is what the government decides to remove Vaccination advertising campaign It’s ridiculous from Facebook. Facebook has reached 80% of its target audience.

Facebook has become a (transnational) utility and is not interested in its image.An attempt by a government, or Government coalitionForcing it to do something is almost a lost cause.

No one wanted it to be like this, and it’s not like this for Google. Facebook is beyond our control.

Peter Martin, Visiting Scholar, Crawford Graduate School of Public Policy, Australian National University

This article will be republished from conversation Under a Creative Commons license.Read Original work..


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