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Facebook stock drops more than 20% after revenue forecast misses (marketwatch.com)
618 points by noncoml 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 388 comments



Deletion is too extreme for most people. More reasonable: escalating partial dis-engagement. Here's what my friends and I did, sequentially, over the years:

1. Turn off notifications for the Facebook app on your phone;

2. Turn off notifications for the Facebook Messenger, Instagram, et cetera apps on your phone;

3. Delete the Facebook app from your phone;

4. Delete the Facebook Messenger, Instagram, et cetera apps from your phone; and finally

5. Log out of Facebook on your desktop.

It took me 2 years to go through from step 1 to step 5. It has made me happier and more productive. I still have a Facebook account. But the friction of grabbing my laptop and logging in forces me to consider "is this what I want to do? Or am I thoughtlessly reaching for the crack pipe?"


Deleted my account nearly a year ago. I don’t miss it at all. For the first few months, I definitely felt like I was missing out on things. But since then I’ve taken a bunch of classes, read a bunch of books, and enjoyed my other hobbies more. It’s hard to do that when wasting time on Facebook. Also I’ve avoided all the bullshit arguments and much of the debates with extremists on all sides of the political spectrum.

I want a social network that encourages human interaction in the real world - not one that turns friends into enemies, feeds narcissism, and provides a platform for corporations and hostile governments to spy on us and manipulate us. Facebook cannot and will not ever be that network.


>I want a social network that encourages human interaction in the real world - not one that turns friends into enemies, feeds narcissism, and provides a platform for corporations and hostile governments to spy on us and manipulate us.

Well this is a site for startups. It seems like you have a good initial idea/problem and/or need. Now the next hard part is concieving and implementing a solution.

There's peer-to-peer networks already though I doubt any of them will be a Facebook replacement. It does provide a solution in part to the spying and data mining (obviously whatever you decide to put out there is free to be harvested).

So how do you encourage human interaction, perhaps meeting, and build constructive discussions?

Unfortunately I'm afraid some of that might just be choosing to predominantly interact with people that are also like that. Although a technologal solution would still be valuable.


> Well this is a site for startups. It seems like you have a good initial idea/problem and/or need. Now the next hard part is conceiving and implementing a solution.

Aha, I'm already moving onto implementation. I've been thinking about this for a while. Maybe I'll be one of the next billionaires in tech ;-)


Well you can give me your second billion after you make your first.

That said, I don't know how you would monetize a system like that.

Furthermore would you really want to? Seems to me part of Facebook's (and other popular social media platforms) growth is attracting advertisers with access to user data personalization.

Consequencently this set up leads to people (at least geeks/nerds) boycotting or giving up on Facebook due to information mining and obnoxious advertising.

Then those aforementioned nerds/geeks make something new that begins the cycle over again.


> That said, I don't know how you would monetize a system like that.

My personal intuition is that the simplest forms of communication (defined as exchanging data between two or more participants) shouldn't be _directly_ monetized.

If we compare to physical communications means and services, there's an obvious yet powerful realization to make: communication is free (from any third-party) so long as it's distributed (i.e. when you and I talk, we take it upon ourselves to spend the energy required to communicate, we don't need a middleman), whereas it becomes a paid-for service when it's centralized (e.g. post office, telephone system, nowadays internet).

Notice that in the physical world, most (centralized) communication businesses are monetizing a more-or-less public container, which operates as a black box for the (de facto) private content. — e.g. package, letter, phone conversation.

Translate this into the digital world: email, file storage and exchange, chats and calls. So far, to my knowledge, most of the popular solutions have been centralized and therefore, monetized (notable exception are bittorrent or IRC, the protocols, widely used as a consequence, but rather nerdy to the general pop, which I think has to do with UX).

Simply put there's a business behind most of the middlemen (Fb, Gmail, Skype…), few solutions rely strictly on tech that anyone can freely operate: you need that central server authentication to reach other users in the walled garden, and neither 'speaks' to others (can't use app X to speak to someone using app Y).

Back to my personal intuition, there is an increasingly higher chance that someone comes up with a decentralized communication system wherein users each bear the cost/energy required to communicate, based on a free protocol (as in beer, it needs not be OSS, although probably should for security/trust purposes).

Think Bittorrent for data specific to communication. The internet in itself, with requests being free (POST GET etc), is such an example of a distributed architecture which you enter simply by leveraging the correct tech; there is no gatekeeper. Blockchains might be another good example of distributed systems (even ignoring cryptocurrencies and focusing on the distributed database tech).

It's a general trend, I think, that we progressively massively distribute technology-based services starting with the most fundamental, the closest to "first principles" for the purpose. Think about printing, how it started with Gutenberg, what a single individual can do today. It takes decades, centuries, these are deeper trend. However, as fast as things go in this day and age, I think communication is just about to be disrupted _forever_ by virtue of massively distributing the means. Just like printers. Or file exchange.


For a long time I've wished more apps would focus on getting you to the real world as quickly as possible.

Now, I'm trying to do my part. I'm working on building Mutambo (https://www.mutambo.net) which is focused on helping everyone play recreational sports. To avoid becoming the Facebook for sports, a high priority goal of ours is to minimize the time you spend in app – to get you to your sporting events as efficiently as possible.


Facebook events is probably the best after meetup.com, and unlike meetup.com it's free to use. With Facebook it's more about the way you and your friends using it (except privacy concerns). I just unsubscribe from everyone except people/pages who post always on-topic and rarely. I get maybe 2 new posts a day in my FB feed.

I waste a lot more time and witness a lot more drama on HN than Facebook.


Meetup.com is a thing. It worked the couple times I tried it.


I decided to drop Facebook because I spent all day arguing with people that I cared about.

I decided I didn't want or need that in my life, so I've dropped it in favor of arguing with people I don't care about on Reddit instead. So much more time for Reddit now!


Does Nextdoor count? It feels like it's trying to connect people in the real world that you know.


Oof. Real names and addresses are two of the things I don't think should be required by social media. Scares me off.


Dockit Calendar is an app I made, best version is on the iOS app store. It's a social calendar application, wouldn't mind your feedback if you're actually looking for a social network that encourages activities.


Would you be willing to pay for it, and if so, how much per month?


I deleted my account a few weeks back.

I haven't missed a single thing.

I realized Facebook had become the digital equivalent of walking into the kitchen and opening the fridge. You know what's inside, but you still end up looking.


Deleting WhatsApp though would be very difficult. It's completely replaced SMS as the primary means of communication for every personal network I am part of.


Would people just not bother replying to you if you sent them a message over SMS or Signal?


Person to person. Probably Yes. But it's the group chats in WhatsApp that are the main sticky point.


Yeah, don't think I can move off Whatsapp. It's the default communication channel for me. Virtually every conversation happens on it, from planning an evening out to asking my wife to pick up some eggs and milk.


Same, but then again I'm only part of 3 groups and I'm hardly ever available to talk on it. I just call back almost every time.


Yes, it's enormously frustrating and it's practically impossible to get anyone to move off it.


A close but not perfect analogy. Perhaps closer for me since with a spouse I may find something unexpected in the fridge.


I've mostly done this but landed on still keeping a facebook tab on the laptop -- quarantined in its own container using the excellent Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension.

Most "friends" unfollowed except a handful of close people. Some less connected but more interesting people pop up in the feed for a bit but then get put back in 30 day snooze with their first new less-than-interesting post.

I won't interact with posts that are world-viewable, but might like or comment on some that are more restricted.

This brings it down to just one or two posts a day in my facebook tab. Something I can spend one or two minutes on in the morning or evening. I mostly see my sister's new baby, and that's fine :)


I've done all the same steps over a number of years. One more item I'd add is that mbasic.facebook.com still allows you to get messages.

For no valid technical reason I'm aware of, they removed the ability to view messages in the standard mobile site. It used to work, and frankly it worked really well. But I'm sure the engagement and quantity of data they sucked up were orders of magnitude better with Facebook Messenger.


For me, it was the mobile interface interlaced with so many video ads that killed my usage. I do open the app sometimes to check what some of my distant friends post, but my usage has drastically gone down. I think 5 years back I spent at least 30 mins on the app every day, now I don't even open it on a few days. To top that, the Cambridge Analytica incident.

That said, I remain invested in FB, since my hypothesis was that 'a majority of people are not like me'. Looks like I am being proven wrong, but let's see the long term impact.


One single step for me -

1. Unsubscribe everyone's feed. This way when you open FB all you see is a blank feed.


Easy to do steps 1-3 and 5, but 4 is a pre-requisite for single sign-on for a few popular 'meet other people' type of apps.


The only regret I have about deleting my FB account is that I forgot it was attached to a mobile game account that my partner plays... when she lost her tablet, she lost the account and could no longer recover or login because the FB account attached to it was long gone. Oops.


I did 1 and 3, for 2 I've switched off audible notifications but not visual for the messenger apps. Unlike the others I actually feel that I get real value from those but that's because they're more inherently participatory than FB itself.

I only look at my phone to see if there are new messages a few times a day, usually right after I've done an email check (I don't keep an email client permanently available either unless I'm in a rare window when I have to be quickly reachable).

The few extra steps it takes me to log in on my laptop mean that I check FB two or three times a week - down from two-three times an hour. When I do use it, I usually scroll through invites (the only real reason that I wouldn't delete my account).

The gradual de-escalation works well because social media does have real value but it's a good idea to test what that value is against the attention costs it imposes.


Turning off notifications for messenger ("We noticed notifications are off, would you like to turn it on? Yes/No), I kid you not, took at least 30 to 40 times as of a few months ago for it to stop bugging me to turn it back on. Few months before that, 25 times at least. Who knows what that number is now. That kind of engagement should be flat out illegal or regulated.


It has the same persistence if you haven't posted in awhile. I haven't posted a status in over a year, and the first few months I got countless notifications along the lines of "OMG YOU HAVEN'T POSTED IN ___ WEEKS! GET STARTED AGAIN".

Also, there's no reason for a "starter message" and prompt when I add a friend.


I'm sure once you do post something after a prolonged absence that they somehow highlight your post to everyone much more than it would normally appear.

I once went through a long tedious process of manually deleting posts and photos and after a while I got a very increased interaction on older images, not newer. Interaction from people who wouldn't normally comment, either.


I've been thinking of what to do with my next influential post (if I have one). Suicide awareness and help lines around the holidays could happen, or one mega life update with everything from the last however many months.


Why your advice is only limited to Facebook products?


> Wehner also said Facebook still expects expenses to grow 50% to 60% from last year

> “But as I’ve said on past calls, we’re investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re starting to see that this quarter.”

That sounds like a big 1-year jump. From what I can tell, the big Facebook scandals (fake news, Cambridge Analytica) came from faults in company policies rather than security glitches.

I wonder if labeling it "security" is a PR thing as their web ads all focus on FB taking active steps to make sure those types of scandals don't happen again.


I was directly involved in one of those 'incidents' several years back where FB gave our app a special API that others did not have. This was because it was easier for us to build the 'FB experience' for their users, than it was for FB themselves. It was clean, legit, above board and secure.

It's astonishing how different the 'media narrative' is from reality, and it confirms my belief that the press runs on such narratives (i.e. building up, crashing down) because in both directions the truth is inflated for dramatic, i.e. click-bait reasons.

Our large company built a very good FB app that effectively was 'FB' on our platform. It was FB branded - for users, it was effectively the 'real' (and only) FB. Obviously that app had to have special APIs.

Everyone involved from top to bottom was pro. We didn't store data, nor did we want or need to. The way the tech was setup (data goes to app), we didn't really have the option. Users logged into their own accounts and retrieved their data, it's not like we could just access data arbitrarily.

Everything was pro and above bar - and nobody in the equation - a lot of us regular, conscientious people - thought for a second that anything was wrong or irregular in any context.

In fact - the whole situation could be described as: "FB hired 3rd parties to develop some code", which surely they do in some circumstances.

Nobody was harmed in any way, and there really wasn't risk of anyone being harmed.

I understand that with 2018 hindsight, we might look at things a little differently, but in reality, I think we'd have still done it. Perhaps there would have been more checks and assurances (i.e. FB takes ownership of code and actually publishes the app), but in reality it was (and would still be) fine.

As far as the Cambridge story - this is also misleading because the API's that were used there were available to the entire world and everyone knew exactly what they were. Were there tech people screaming foul? The press? Not really, they seemed reasonable, until it seemed that some bad agents were getting a little unscrupulous, and so FB did the right thing and altered the APIs to make them more secure. Security polices change all the time, in this case they tightened up given some field data. That's it.

It's really a story about Cambridge's scammy behaviour, and possibly lies to FB on where that data was, not about FB.

I don't like Facebook, I don't use it, I don't like being 'productized' etc. etc. - but I don't feel that the information in these scenarios has been properly handled by the media.

Because there are legitimate issues with privacy in the new world order in 2018 that are finally coming to bear, and we definitely want to re-evaluate our situation with FB, basically, we go and dig up 'something that happened 10 years ago in which nobody was harmed' to build a 'kind of misleading narrative' around the the 'legitimate issue'.


>Were there tech people screaming foul? Not really

Yes. Really.

>Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012, told the Guardian he warned senior executives at the company that its lax approach to data protection risked a major breach.

Parakilas, whose job was to investigate data breaches by developers similar to the one later suspected of Global Science Research, which harvested tens of millions of Facebook profiles and provided the data to Cambridge Analytica, said the slew of recent disclosures had left him disappointed with his superiors for not heeding his warnings.

“It has been painful watching,” he said, “because I know that they could have prevented it.”

Parakilas said he “always assumed there was something of a black market” for Facebook data that had been passed to external developers. However, he said that when he told other executives the company should proactively “audit developers directly and see what’s going on with the data” he was discouraged from the approach.

He said one Facebook executive advised him against looking too deeply at how the data was being used, warning him: “Do you really want to see what you’ll find?”

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/20/facebook-data-c...


“Do you really want to see what you’ll find?"

That seems a common way of thinking. I have seen people argue against pentesting because they didn't want to know about vulnerabilities.


FWIW - Every time I have has personal knowledge of IT issue that made news, it made me lose faith in news. I'm not talking the minor, regular and downright stereotypical "Journalists don't understand technology", but major spins of context, impact, background and history. I'm currently on a system that's been making front pages in my country, and while the factual details of impact are largely accurate, what causes them, background, what can and should be done about it are wildly inaccurate (and not in the "reasonable people can disagree / many technical solutions have merit" sense; in the "what are you smoking / why does anybody think or believe that" sense :P )


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gell-Mann_amnesia_effect

> the Gell-Mann amnesia effect defines the idea that "I believe everything the media tells me except for anything for which I have direct personal knowledge, which they always get wrong."


Everyone I've met that's been interviewed about a controversial topic has been critical of the press. I haven't been sure if it's because they think their view is the only correct one or the media are truly that sloppy.

My intuition says the latter because time is money and journalists are rarely experts in the fields they cover.


I was once something of a journalist and noticed something interesting. When I interviewed someone about something controversial, they were significantly more likely to become defensive when I checked facts and quotes with them.


Sometimes the defensiveness arises because of our offensive media atmosphere... the feeling is some of the journalist's quotes/"facts" may be mis-attributed, taken out of context, or straight up lies hoping to get a response that can be quoted out of context.

Even supportive facts/quotes can cause concern. Subject matter experts have a reputation on the line, while the journalist is often just looking for a story.


It's interesting because the act of constantly checking facts and quotes actually helps prevent words from being taken out of context. Good interviews can get away from both parties and solid questioning and verification ensures that the listener applies the correct context to the words.


Why does this strike you as a revelation? Of course they'll get defensive when you challenge their beliefs.


It is quite interesting (and telling of your beliefs) that you took my words to mean that I challenged their beliefs.

I wrote, "they were significantly more likely to become defensive when I checked facts and quotes with them."

We check facts and quotes to ensure that we are being accurate and fair.

Would you prefer being misquoted? Or would you prefer having improper contact assigned to your words?


I'd guess this happens because a journalist starting to fact check is often a giveaway that they are about to write something you'd want to challenge later.

Nobody ever called me, my boss or my friends to verify this summer has been extremely hot or what my favourite food is.

Also: just getting the words correct doesn't help if you cut the part where I explained what happened.


I suspect you don't have a strong understanding of how journalism works. A journalist fact-checking a story is more often a giveaway they are a conscientious journalist working for a legitimate organization. Getting the story right is a sacred thing for real journalists who know that not doing so opens them up to being called out in the public sphere for spreading untruth. Extensive fact-checking is not only critical to maintaining a reputation, it probably provides some kind of legal cover.


> it probably provides some kind of legal cover.

Exactly. I'm very aware of that.

The problem is both good journalists and bad journalists call to do fact checks, -good journalists to verify they got the facts correct, bad journalists to provide legal cover before they quote you out of context to build the case they want to build anyway.

So, when someone call you and want to verify what you said I'll recommend being very sure that you get it exactly right and so clear that they cannot misunderstand you.

Defending yourself against a journalist might easily become a case of "have you stopped beating your wife? How hard can this be, yes or no?"


If you want to guarantee positive coverage, pay for it. Otherwise, stay away. If you go into an interview with such a defensive attitude, it's likely not going to end well for you.

When people get defensive with me for being conscientious, my instinct is always to dig deeper. I'm sure that holds true for many others.


But then what do you do when some media outlets gave a history of attacking you?

You might get them to publish a retraction (since it wasn't true) but hasn't the damage already been done?

What when those same papers write stuff that is technically true (but leave out why it was done)?: "founder sends millions to foreign bank account." "Founder declines to comment." ?


I'm sorry, but you really don't understand how working with the media works. You seem stuck on this idea that earned media has to be positive. It doesn't have to be, and it won't always be. If you expect it all to be positive, you will be disappointed and burn many bridges with journalists.

When you get negative coverage, accept it as the other side of the earned media coin. It is more effective than advertising because it has the potential to be negative. If there was never negative coverage, earned media wouldn't be worth pursuing. And, if you dig into the negative coverage, you'll often learn a lot from it. So, when you get negative coverage, email the journalist, thank them for writing about you, reaffirm that you're always available to talk, and then ignore it.

If an outlet has a history of attacking you, consider why they are attacking you and if the attacks have merit. If it's because you've been difficult in the past, you need to find a good PR person and get some media training in a hurry. You specifically want a PR person who entered the field through journalism, not marketing. Your PR person will be to work with the initial storm. If you caused the mess, you likely need to be hands off during this stage. And then, you need media training so that you don't offend a media outlet again.

It sounds like you have a rough time with media. Do you use the word 'exclusive'? If so, are you sure that you know what it means? Aside from lying, or being evasive, the best way to offend an outlet is to misuse the word.

Retractions don't happen very often, and unless you have very serious evidence, they aren't even worth going for. In the absence of serious evidence, a crafty editor will use your quest for a retraction as an excuse to keep writing about you. The goal is always to get them to stop writing, not give them reason to write more.

And frankly, publications will always write things that are technically true without adding any context. Never assume that this is because of malice because truth is, they likely don't care enough to be malicious. The sooner you get over this idea of a big, bad malicious media, the sooner you will learn how to work with them.


> I'm sorry, but you really don't understand how working with the media works. You seem stuck on this idea that earned media has to be positive.

That is quite a misunderstanding of my position. What do you take me for?

They don't need to be all positive at all. My point just shouldn't be actively lying or misleading.

> If an outlet has a history of attacking you, consider why they are attacking you and if the attacks have merit.

Done. (And it is not about me, and I'm in a position where it would be useful for me to know if there was something.)

> It sounds like you have a rough time with media.

Personally? Not at all.

> And frankly, publications will always write things that are technically true without adding any context. Never assume that this is because of malice because truth is, they likely don't care enough to be malicious. The sooner you get over this idea of a big, bad malicious media, the sooner you will learn how to work with them.

My question is rather: how long should we accept this (i.e. baseless smear campaigns agains companies and/or individuals)?

Mostly media does a great job and I respect and actively (i.e. by donating or keeping subscriptions I don't need) support great journalism even if I don't agree with everything they write.

But sometimes some journalists are really destructive. It is those cases I'm talking about. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then at some point, shouldn't the abuse of a weaponized pen be punishable? That bar should be high, yes, but at some point (inciting hatred against nations or ethnicities using made up allegations should be a good example) I think most people would agree that society should have some way to correct it. The question is just exactly where that bar should be.

And again no, this isn't about me. Personally I never had problems with media going after me, this just happens to have bothered me over years as I've seen certain journalists go after other people for what turns out to be no good reason. I'm luckily not aware of many cases though, but what I've seen has made me hesitant to talk to media (and Gell Mann amnesia also isn't as strong as it used to be anymore either).


When you did this? Why wouldn't all journalists always do this?


They should as it's a great tool to both guarantee accuracy, and ensure you're being fair. But, running an interview, getting people off their script, and still constantly checking and validating are all tough. I could see people forgetting it or just not being comfortable. I've also been interviewed by journalists so skilled I didn't realize they were doing it until later.


> I've also been interviewed by journalists so skilled I didn't realize they were doing it until later.

This sounds interesting :) any stories you're able to share on this?


The Press’ expertise lies with disseminating information. That’s their skillset.


Be sure to investigate the journalist's background, and the article's audience. Articles written for laymen by a general-purpose news source often just pawn off IT stories on their most tech-literate writer. Don't put your trust in filler.

News is still good. The HN front page surfaces good tech news, while reputable newspapers are still reputable in their area of expertise. Don't confuse the Gell-Mann [1] effect with Dunning-Kruger [2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gell-Mann_amnesia_effect

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


treat news like gossips and you will feel much better. Its at about the same level, on average.


You're basically saying, "nobody cared about their material security weakness until someone did something bad with it"

How is that not true of every single security/privacy incident, ever? If the situation was, "everyone knew 23andMe was storing non-deidentified genomic data on an unsecured S3 bucket, and this was fine until [insert villian] took it" it would be the same, and people would be justifiably pissed off. This feels like a completely correctly handled story in the media, your personal anecdote about working with Facebook notwithstanding.


You can’t recast HN’s comment system as a material security weakness just because you learn that people who disagree with you can also read your public comments.


> You can’t recast HN’s comment system as a material security weakness just because you learn that people who disagree with you can also read your public comments

This is a false equivalence. Hacker News comments are public. (HN also doesn't sell ads.) Facebook messages and private content usually aren't.

Just because "the API's that were used there were available to the entire world" doesn't mean "everyone knew exactly what they were." Everyone didn't know what they were capable of. A very small section of the technologically literate did, and most of them were profiting off the status quo.


>Facebook messages and private content usually aren't.

Sure, that's not the same as public access, but it's equally blown out of proportion.

Users must be empowered to delegate access to the software of their choosing. Facebook offering read_mailbox as an option on its OAuth consent screen is exactly as evil as Fastmail offering IMAP.


Your description of writing an app for your platform sounds fine...but in that same era they were throwing Instant Personalization out there. Which was profoundly fucked up; I was involved with the deployment of it at a large site, hated it the entire time, and the creepy behavior of it was a fairly big reason why I left that company.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/facebook-instant-personalizati...


> Were there tech people screaming foul? The press? Not really, they seemed reasonable, until it seemed that some bad agents were getting a little unscrupulous, and so FB did the right thing and altered the APIs to make them more secure. Security polices change all the time, in this case they tightened up given some field data. That's it.

Others quoted about screaming foul from within facebook. I was involved with RTB ad exchanges at the time, and everyone knew that the data is available to whomever wants it, with facebook's tacit approval.

Gabriel Weinberg (yegg) founder of duck duck go had a story on his blog about how he targeted his own wife with a facebook ad, and about how easy it is profile/get everyone's FB data, and he wasn't the only one.

Your experience may have been different; it looks to me like you'd rather look at the world through rose tinted glasses and give FB an undeserved benefit of the doubt -- but I'll accept that this was your experience. However, I have about 20:1 anecdata about "improper FB" than "proper FB", so I tend to believe the latter.

If there was one story of patents done right, does that indicate there are no patent trolls and it's all blown out of proportion?


> rose tinted glasses

I travel a bit. Facebook, the company, has a disproportionately vocal base of support in Silicon Valley. (This is also where the principal economic beneficiaries of Facebook's status quo live.)


The famous upton sinclair quote comes to mind: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”


I get your point, but most of your post could be reduced to "we didn't do it, so it doesn't happen".

Facebook giving out privileged API's willy-nilly without verifying who the people operating them really are is the issue. If a bank gave the keys to their vault to some shady people then you blame the bank.


Facebook is not giving out API access willy-nilly.

My god man, armies of lawyers involved.


That really makes it worse. If there were some set of cut-and-dried rules (even one that changed occasionally, because of course Facebook is always changing the rules), outsiders could evaluate those rules and have some idea what's going on. If every data release involves armies of NDA-bound lawyers, there's no way to know anything about Facebook data releases in general. It's completely possible that the Cantabrigians negotiated everything they did beforehand, due to some combination of Facebook lawyer variability and the CA lawyers being more aggressive than your firm's lawyers.


Except to say that there were "instances of Facebook releasing data" makes it sound you misunderstand the technical details of what happened, and if so, why would that be? Because despite the media writing half a forest worth on the subject, actually information that would help us understand what took place was exceedingly rare.


I didn't use that phrase. Anyway, don't just make cryptic accusations of ignorance. If anyone had used that phrase, how would it be wrong? Should we say "instance" rather than "instances", because CA was the only party that ever received data? Should we use a different verb, not "releasing"? Help us to understand, rather than complain about the media. We all know about Gell-Mann amnesia.


It was a mistake to put that in quotes; I didn't mean to cite you. I meant to emphasize that the the phrase "every data release" sounds like there were individual, distinct cases where Facebook agreed to release data.

When it comes to the GP that talked about his experience - this was about platform vendors such as Apple or Blackberry having supposed "special access". But Facebook just did not release any data here. It just allowed third parties to write a Facebook app. For the most part, those apps where client-side, so the data did not leave the users device.

Now in the spirit of argument, there are a lot of aspects that can be debated: Is there a meaningful difference between code written by a contractor, but published by Facebook, an app published by a third party, but making it look like it belongs to Facebook, or a third party app without the blessing of Facebook. How does that relate to our ideas about the freedom of the internet (should anyone be allowed to create a Facebook app, without Facebook's blessing, which is certainly a technical possibility? What is the implication of Facebook's support for such an app, or lack of taking legal action against it?). What is the responsibility of companies like Facebook when having an API of the sort that they do, which prima facie allows users to decide which data to share? So about if I agree to share data, but that data is something my friend shared with me? Does Facebook have a responsibility to prevent this? Is is problem the sheer amount of data on Facebook? If I have a small online community forum, can I offer that sort of access, letting my users share their friends list with third party apps? What about apps like Twitter, Telegram asking for your permission to access your phone book. Courts in Germany have said the users agreeing to this are the ones breaking the law. What if I agree to share my contact book with an app, but that app does not upload this data to a server? How does that compare to Facebook asking a third party to provide a Facebook app, but data does not go to a third party server?

It's all interesting stuff. And I don't even ask the media to discuss it in that level of detail. They can give the 5-or-however-many foot view. But don't misrepresent that.

Gell-Mann amnesia doesn't defend the media here, right? The idea is that it is strange that you trust it after their incompetence has been proven to you.

Look, I am not a Trumpian Fake-Newser. I think it's good we have journalists. I am sure the journalists working on those Facebook stories did their best, given limited time, the breath of technical details involved, the pressures of creating content that brings in clicks, and yes, the personal vanity of wanting to uncover a big story. We are all human, after all.

CA is even one thing. But regarding the platform integrations - what GP tells from personal experience is the same thing I got from reading the reporting. It was simply misleading.


Who are you trying to convince? I certainly don't trust "the media" (or as I typically call them "the war media") as anyone on HN who follows my copious commenting can tell you. At this point, I trust Facebook less than the newspapers, just based on my (very) occasional use and actually listening to what Facebook themselves say.

All that is beside the point. The point is that if as 'sonnyblarney indicated there a custom negotiation for every new organization that gets to peak behind the curtain, then the process is not standardized. Normal online firms have TOS and APIs, and it's possible to characterize what user data they release. For Facebook, apparently that characterization is not possible.


I known a few people who gamed facebook's add system to "color" people's profile data into cookies, and also a couple of "quiz" app developers who had access to everything they could ask for at the time, and then some.

Not a single lawyer involved in either.


> As far as the Cambridge story - this is also misleading because the API's that were used there were available to the entire world and everyone knew exactly what they were

That was actually the entire point. That Facebook had these overly... generous APIs for anyone to use. That's not a good thing.


APIs used by apps that required explicit opt in and permission granting by the end user.

Calling them “overly generous” is such a disingenuous statement because it connotes such a clearly wrong historical perspective that the whole statement is a falsehood.

Facebook’s APIs at the time were considered too stingy at the time! So much so it was constantly fending off accusations of being a walled garden taking advantage of an open web. The less than adequate APIs were their attempts at fending off that narrative.


There's a lot of truth to this statement. The web started out a lot more open. Email addressss were generally public, commands like finger existed, etc etc etc

It's worth noting that the context around privacy of generic life information of the kind you post on social media has radically changed in the last 10-20 years.


Well, not really.

Back then, the Facebook API gave out personal details of not use the end user, but all the end user's 'friends'. I never gave the explicit opt in for that.


You chose to be friends with someone on Facebook which means you very explicitly chose to share your personal details with that person for them to consume or view it in whatever way they saw fit. It was very much clear from context at the time that they would consume it from multiple different sources: the website, phone-specific apps, shared games, etc.

Once someone knows something about you, it's no longer yours; it's that person's to do with as they please.


Overly generous APIs like IMAP? XMPP? IRC?

APIs that allow a user to delegate his access to the software he chooses are essential to the open internet. The evil behavior is not providing them.


I don’t disagree with your view on the media, but as a banker I say to tech people: welcome to the club. Welcome to a world where the media will pick a fraud somewhere in a large organisation and generalise it to all employees or to the whole industry, will twist facts to the limit of honesty to make a point, will call outrageous some technical and inocuous business practices, and will run months long campaigns on a single incident. Welcome to a world where the media hate you.


> somewhere in a large organisation and generalise it to all employees or to the whole industry

I don't know if its different in the US but here in Europe that seems to sum up the "sexist" nature of our industry. Its true that there aren't many females in IT but when I have worked with them they have always been treated fairly and as equals to men. Their sex never seemed to enter into the equation at all.


In fairness to the people slating the entire banking industry, no other industry (that I'm aware of) has so consistently and repeatedly been responsible for financial crash after financial crash in the way your industry has.

It displays a hubris and greed that makes the lives of millions of innocent people worse, time after time. Then the tax payer bails them out when that greed backfires, as it does every single time.

It seems like most of the major banks were guilty of obviously dodgy lending and deliberately overly-omplicated financial instruments in the run up to the last recession, and they seem to be back at it again with car loans.

Animosity is to be expected I think.


The overfocus on Facebook hides the much more important and sobering point — if you tell someone exactly what they want to hear, they can be induced to vote for you, which calls into question the real long-term value of democracy as a politics architecture.


I think it's the narrowcasting that is a danger to democracy. When you have to blast your message across popular broadcast media your message has to appeal to a wide cross-section of the public. The ability to secretly target individuals you can craft messages that would be repulsive to a larger audience. That's why Facebook's political ad transparency is an important first step against this new attack on democracy.


Ouch, that other benefit of narrowcasting (the relative secrecy of it) didn't really click with me until now.


This is so true. Also compounding the problem is how we're so isolated into our own interests and beliefs, so even if you share your personalized propaganda it's likely to be with other like-minded people. It's like we're all living in our own dream worlds.


What is this supposed to mean? Can you be more clear about the point you're trying to make?


Alice, Bob, and Carol all hate each other. A politician of yesteryear had to forge some compromise between them to get the support of any two. Today, you can tell Alice that you'll kill Bob and Carol, Bob that you'll kill Alice and Carol, and Carol that you'll kill Alice and Bob, and get all three of their votes.


How about the fact that Zuckerberg was summoned to Washington to testify before Congress and failed to disclose the ongoing data-sharing agreements FB has with 60 or so device manufacturers?[1]

In addition to willfully misleading Congress it also likely violates their 2011 FTC consent decree[2]. Is this also just part of the 'media narrative' you claim is different from reality? I think these revelations amount to pretty "scammy behavior" as well, to borrow your terminology.

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-gave-some-companies-ac...

[2] https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/11/faceb...


It's exactly what the parent seems to be writing about. What they are saying is that the WSJ article is highly misrepresentative, that rather than there being a "data sharing" agreement, it would be more correct to say that Facebook hired them to program an app; and that app, installed on the device of the users, communicates directly with the Facebook servers, thus sharing no data with anyone.


> the API's that were used there were available to the entire world and everyone knew exactly what they were. Were there tech people screaming foul? The press? Not really,

Yeah they were, and that's why the APIs were eventually shuttered. FB even secured a promise from CA that they retroactively deleted the data.


Great you had a legitimate issue, can you trust each and everyone of such api users to behave in good faith?

That’s the problem. It only takes one bad actor.


Thanks for commenting and sharing your insight but I don't think the average person knows or cares what that meant. The problem with CA was that an app developer was allowed to sell user data without the users knowledge.


To be fair, security is an amazing amount of policy. I took and passed the CISSP, and that exam must be at least 30%, maybe 40% policy. Things like knowing how does the Commerce Department’s rule of Safe Harbor apply to US companies doing business in EU. Stuff like that.

That being said, it made me way better at my job. No matter how many technical justifications I have for why we should implement X, the second I brought up a small to medium legal thing everyone would fix it immediately.


Real security is almost all technical and implementation. There's a very significant danger to security that policies be some kind of front line of defense, or be implemented over sound engineering practices.

In almost every work environment, I've seen the policies working directly against security: if not by contradicting it, ignoring the details where the real security decisions live, or by striking the wrong balances between prescriptiveness and generality - then by out-prioritizing security decision making. (I've worked at mostly 100,000+ person companies).

It's much better to have technical security controls >80-90% of the actual security. It's just expensive and harder to teach/learn/implement.

That said, there's some real security gained by policy. It comes from: - Ability to communicate expectations ("adopt technical solution X") - Ability to exercise legitimized (instanciated/codified) authority

Most of the rest of the value of policy comes in as business enablement value (policies are easier to communicate to auditors than security control implementations are).

Policy can also be a useful placeholder for real security in the sense it will satisfy many external parties who might otherwise reprioritize/randomize security investments.


Policy is not a substitute for reasonable technical controls. But it’s also not a concern that can be wished away by saying “well we just do our security the real way, in code.” Any security control implementation enforces some conceptual policy, even if that policy isn’t documented elsewhere. In some places that’s fine; in others with more robust needs, that’s insufficient. Part of what auditors audit is that policy implementations (whether in code or in human practice) match the specification.

As an example, I’m glad that browser vendors require CAs to document their policies for issuing certificates. Let’s Encrypt does a great job of making much of this process automatic, but there’s still pieces that must be done by humans, and there’s still written policies in place for all of their operations.

At some point in any security process, human judgment comes into play. Striking the wrong balance between technical controls and allowing for human judgment can also lead to absurd outcomes, like this recent article/discussion[0].

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17350645


Absolutely.

If your system is doing "all the right security stuff" and then nobody knows about it - sure, you're secure - but nobody knows that or how you are secure. And that's a very significant problem both to a bureaucracy and to its customers. It's also an issue in terms of maintaining those controls over time between changes to staff and business direction.

There's a whole "secondary market" (within an organization) for security assurance, and it tends to be much more measurable than security posture.

Policies and summaries of those policies go a long way toward feeding that "assurance feeling" secondary market without draining resources from ongoing investments actual posture.

Essentially the way it works is that you develop security controls toward an ideal end state/direction and describe your direction as your policy. Any gaps auditors or your company find then become fuel for making actual changes to the underlying security posture at a technical level.

The danger of not having your policy really be disguised summaries of your actual implementation is that the various security staff become free to debate over fictional security and can convince themselves that if they mandate some changes on paper to the policy (with there being nothing technical associated whatsoever) that this has or should have some kind of real affect.

It's more dangerous still if the internal security assurance program uses its own policies or some measure of "adherence to the policies" to then measure security. What happens is that the compliance operation becomes authoritarian about adherence to policies that don't exist outside of (otherwise non-discoverable) mandate, and the company and its auditors are able to "measure" their posture by their policies and convince themselves they are secure.

The worst version of this is where its done on purpose for fraud.


But how do policy changes result in a 50% increase in total expenses? They can't be hiring that many lawyers.


You should have seen how much harder life got at our company when we discontinued a common root password across the back office. Things that used to take 5 minutes to fix by self-service now take a ticket to the owner of a system, which can take days.


Even if you don't have a common root password, you can still have groups of people who are sudoers for different systems.


If one bought into "the security story", one would expect your company after this policy change to have seen fewer random regressions due to random people rooting around in systems for which they were not responsible. Did you find that to be the case?


It's about reducing exposure to risk more than actual occurrences. You only need to regress once for it to permanently damage your business. Just because it never happened until now doesn't mean that it won't in the future.


ISTM typically there would have to be more going wrong for "permanent damage"? Not that it would be surprising for a shared-root organization e.g. to have poor backup skills...


Commercial damage is often worse than technical


Shhh...


Example: audit all employee access to PII data.

Anyone who's worked at a large company can tell you how incredibly complex and expensive this can get if your systems aren't designed for this.


Implementation of policies has a waterfall effect throughout the org.

EG: Adding something as simple as a privilege expiration (generic example) and propagating it through the org and various teams itself will take time.


They're hiring 2/3rd more employees to act as content moderators from the sounds of the guidance.


They're about to break the brains of 1000s of people subjecting them to aweful content. This will also have consequences. What was it "move fast and break things"!


Evidently it's not employees, but contractors (via Accenture, etc). Rumour around these parts is a content mod killed themselves at work a couple months ago. Wouldn't want to put that on actual employees of course!


That’s upside down, me thinks.

It would be difficult to incur a 50% increase in expenses without massive policy shift.


A lot of their security/policy work is hiring tons of humans to fix things. For example they are hiring an additional 10,000 content moderators. That will obviously impact profitability.


Just like Google, they are learning that AI is not up to the task of dealing with humans that try to game the system by all means possible.


I don't think neither companies ever denied that AI won't get 100% of the cases, they just say that you can't moderate billions of posts with human moderation alone, you need AI to take care of the 99%, and humans for ambiguous cases.


China has a huge staff of these people too. I think at last count they had 20,000 people employed doing content moderation for the country.


I would think it is much more than 20,000 in a country of 1 billion people with such tight content controls.


Security isn't just "people can't get inside our servers", it's a much broader topic than that — anything that looks like "people didn't something that, in hindsight, we'd rather they couldn't have" falls under that purview, really. I'd certainly qualify working on preventing the next Cambridge Analytica, or preventing the next micro-targeted political propaganda campaign, as "security work" without even blinking.


Security is gobbledygook. It’s why politicians love using national security with legislation.


The strong argumentative edge one gains by turning the debate towards security led to this cool concept in international relations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securitization_(international_...


See also Trump's tariffs. WTO roles forbid arbitrary tariffs, unless the government claims they are for the sale of "national security."


There's some truth that lack of "security" is what makes money (ads) and gets views (fake news stories), and users (fake users).


Faacebook is hugely overvalued. Its actual value for its users is far less then perceived. You can't fool all the people all the time, and the day will come that people will realize it. I'm all for social networks (and making good profit from operating them), they have a key role in democratizing the global society, its just that facebook is abusing our basic psychological needs to make money.


What I would really like to know, is the correlation between the FB IPO and the rental prices around the valley going up at the time.

Just prior to the FB IPO, I lived about two blocks from the then CIO or CTO of FB (cant recall his name - this was just as Asana was getting a lot of buzz as well) -- and I was looking for a new apartment in Noe Valley.

I recall that a place that I saw going for $3,000 per month took an immediate jump to $7,000 per month days after the IPO and they wanted a $10,000 security deposit...

Other rents went up as well.

My overall point being, that it sucks, but is interesting, to see how tech company IPOs impact overall COL - but when comments such as "FB is hugely overvalued" are made, and instances where FBs value drops - the damage to real COL has an impact radius thats already happened and far more reaching than simply to those who benefit/suffer from their personal stock holdings' value...

Its the reality of the world/market - but lets imagine FB ceasing to exist magically... COL/rents will not adjust accordingly.

So, while I don't personally care about FB's value - I am interested in how much the entirety of COL is affected by any tech success/failure throughout silicon valley...

How are these types of factors evaluated by economists?


Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke I’ve disabled notifications on my phone and find myself pressing it perhaps 30 minutes a week rather than what was probably almost an hour a day. Even giving it half an hour of my time seems like a bit of a bad habit I should cut out. I never relied on it for news, ignored the ads, and generally really tried to use it exclusively to maintain the potential for contact with the diaspora of worldwide friends and acquaintances and their sometimes-shifting contact details.


I deleted the app and just use the mobile website when I want to occasionally check what friends and family are up to. Much less of a distraction and battery life is much improved. I also started using Messenger Lite now instead of the full-blown Messenger.

That said, it seems very rare my friends or family actually post anything these days. Mostly I use it for a handful of specialist groups which could just as easily be replaced with forums.


I completely deleted my FB account well over 3 years ago, and never looked back. After the initial panic subsided, life become much better.


> You can't fool all the people all the time...

I suspect you can, with the equivalent of survivor bias. Those who can't be fooled don't have Facebook accounts.


I’m pretty sure Facebook can fool enough people forever.


Its difficult to give it up completely (without loosing something). I tried, but it is a useful place for contacts that you don't see often and are in different parts of the world. It stays current, which phone numbers and email address don't.


You lose something by using it too, you know -- you let FB track everything about you, and shape your world view if you read the posts they decide to show you. It's a tradeoff.

You don't have to delete it; Just make sure it is perfectly blocked (through uBlock Origin, Disconnect, Ghostery, PiHole, etc) so they can't track you - and login in once a month or so to https://mbasic.facebook.com/ if you need to figure out someone's new phone number.


I haven't deleted my account but I have reduced my Facebook usage by 90%+ by simply deleting the app from my phone.


The market value is not value to users, it's value to advertisers.


I'm inclined to agree, but am reminded of the Dropbox Vs rsync post on HN. The value to me from it is okay groups family and friends. I can write a facebook clone which does all the things I like in a month or so, but that's kind of missing the point.


In Western society maybe but in emerging markets Facebook is still huge. And for many em small businesses it is their only online presence.


> In Western society maybe but in emerging markets Facebook is still huge

Americans and Canadians earn Facebook over 4x per user what Europeans do and over 10x what Asia Pacific users do [1]. Facebook's user base shifting overseas implies a massive revenue drop (and corresponding adjustment to value).

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/251328/facebooks-average...


Assuming that their earnings per Asian user do not increase, they need 10 Asian users for every US American user?

That doesn't sound unrealistic.


> they need 10 Asian users for every US American user?

Assuming the tenth Asian user (a) is as lucrative as the first and (b) costs 1/10th as much to provide services to as an American user, sure. I'm doubtful about those assumptions. And this is all just for treading water.


The tenth Asian user is not as lucrative as the first. Those numbers have to be averages.


The trouble is that the people who are fooled by Facebook in emerging markets aren't likely to be a big source of profit for Facebook.

In India, for instance, Facebook is especially popular among old people like my parents, or poorer people. The former won't spent much money online because habit. The latter don't have much money to spend.


P/E is in the thirties. I have to disagree here. Google has had a PE in the thirties since 2006


Facebook is very valuable in countries where press freedom is not good (if facebook is not blocked yet). My country (Azerbaijan) is one of the worst countries in terms of press freedom. The only “free press” we have is a facebook. There are many goverment’s trolls, but everybody understands when trolls write something (trolls get average salary). On the other hand, goverment follows oppositions’ discussions on facebook and responds accordingly. That is the only platform we have now goverment and oppositions speak with each other.


Well at least your trolls are paid. A lot of our trolls seem to be volunteers.


Probably the volunteer ones are the most realistic and dangerous.


Yup, I'm fairly sure the online Trump hype train was 10% trolls and 90% people tagging along for the ride.

Then again it died reeeally fast right after the election, so now I'm not sure anymore.


Or more abstractly: influencers and followers. What makes them trolls, exactly?

Also, no surprise things die down after an election, since it’s not the hot topic anymore.


How certain are you that they're actually volunteers?

Astroturf seems to be a lot more lifelike these days.


Take a browse through any EU geographical subreddit. The paid and unpaid trolls are easy to spot.


Facebook is about looking at hot girls from your college, well, that's how it started out. It's a social network where you and your data are the product. It's not about free press.

To prove the point, in Myanmar the social network facebook has helped to spread hat speech that led to riots and violence between Buddhist and Moslims. https://www.wired.com/story/how-facebooks-rise-fueled-chaos-...

If you want free press, change the government, whether it's Azerbaijan or Malta, a better government is necessary.


If we act based on this logic, then we should not use internet today, because it started as a military project. Well the telephone was created as a tool to talk each other not to browse on the internet. We can add many examples that initial usage changed significantly.


first class trolling.


Just because it played a part in those events doesn't mean that it's not a tool for free press. One could argue that the fact that that speech wasn't able to be passed through traditional media is a point in favor of free speech, even if it resulted in violence.


I'm sorry, but hate speech has be banned and prosecuted. A tolerant society cannot tolerate intolerance. My freedom ends where your's start.


The definition of hate speech depends on what each society defines it as.


suggestion: post under a new username....they can make your life miserable.


Facebook can't be doing well: they're running ads on the New York Times app, trying to convince me to join.

And these aren't flattering ads either: they emphasize that I'd be joining "2 billion users" and that "it's free to sign up." They're bargain basement and have a desperate vibe.


I get that big brands often advertise for pure brand awareness and associated reasons not necessarily tied directly to growth in new users or their bottom line.

This makes me wonder what it must be like being a marketing executive for Facebook at the moment. In advertising one usually promotes USPs and benefits to sell the product - in this case - a social media platform. The FB marketing execs must sit there thinking, how the fuck do we sell Facebook when everybody knows about Facebook, and most people know it's garbage?

This is especially true when you consider there's 7 billion or so people on the planet, and FB already has 28% of the total population using their app. They surely can't believe that they're one day going to have much more than their current market share?

I guess the 'free to sign' up and 'join 2 billion users' was the best they could manage given the circumstances.

I'd love to hear from a marketing exec at a big corp to understand their take on it. The idea of having to market Facebook at this stage in their lifecycle is very intriguing to me.


> The FB marketing execs must sit there thinking, how the fuck do we sell Facebook when everybody knows about Facebook, and most people know it's garbage?

It's no different than Coca Cola or McDonalds. Everybody knows about them and most know it's garbage. The answer is to sell a feeling, a mental association, a lifestyle... at a subconscious level. That's the real power of advertisement. For well-established brands, it's also branding reinforcement: never let your mind forget about the brand, so that at the right time, you're predisposed to reflexively reach for it. Feeling hungry? Mc Donalds! Feeling thirsty? Coke! Feeling that dopamine need for social validation? Facebook!


I suspect the most important thing for advertising Facebook at this point is ubiquitous visibility - if there is an FB ad, a share button, or a link to a profile on every page a user visits, it ensures that it is in their subconscious whenever they're browsing, making it that much more likely for them to log in to post or message a fleeting thought that would otherwise have passed forgotten. Similarly, non-users might be momentarily tempted by anything that brings to mind that friend they've not spoken with in years, or that interesting fan group that only has an FB profile, and having links to Facebook omnipresent across the web makes joining that much more likely by reducing the barrier to entry.

> ...most people know it's garbage

This is likely an exaggeration. While it may be true of the majority of HN readers, HN has a very specific demographic of generally tech- and business-aware people, who are much more exposed to damning data and discussion on the costs of FB - for most users, Facebook is a service somewhere on the scale of "useful" to "essential", with no readily apparent drawbacks; The rather negligible effect of the Cambridge Analytica media outcry serves to demonstrate the average valuation many put on privacy versus convenience.

> ...there's 7 billion or so people on the planet, and FB already has 28% of the total population using their app. They surely can't believe that they're one day going to have much more than their current market share?

At this point, I'm somewhat surprised FB hasn't started investing in Next Billion technologies; there's a limit to the portion of current smartphone users that are willing to join Facebook, so one solution may be to ensure more people have smartphone access.


I'm a young millennial and I'm sure that I'm suffering from a bias here* -- but I'm actually surprised they would need to take out ads in the NYT, given what their product is. I just find it so hard to believe that a significant number of people in the US haven't heard of Facebook or haven't any close friends who use Facebook. If the number wasn't significant, then I don't know why they would need to take out ads. Unless you've been living under a rock, if you're my age, then you have had more than enough time to figure out whether Facebook is your cup of tea.

*I am probably underestimating how many older folks are completely out-of-the-loop with Facebook.


It does make some sense considering the ideal user for an ad-supported business: Has money and either isn't savvy enough to block ads or, even better, ethically opposes blocking ads.

No offense intended to the previous commenter in particular, but statistically speaking, someone who reads stodgy news without an ad blocker in a subscription app on an expensive phone probably fits the profile. They may have heard of the company but haven't tried it, or they tried it in the past and just need the brand occasionally refreshed in their mind until they try it again.


> No offense intended to the previous commenter in particular, but statistically speaking, someone who reads stodgy news without an ad blocker in a subscription app on an expensive phone probably fits the profile.

I don't think that's quite a fair characterization. Apps that block in-app ads are against the major app store polices, so one would have to be far more technically adept than average to have a working ad blocker in a news app:

https://9to5mac.com/2017/07/15/apple-reportedly-shifts-app-s...

https://www.androidpolice.com/2016/03/01/google-explicitly-b...

Browsers are a different story.


> It does make some sense considering the ideal user for an ad-supported business: Has money and either isn't savvy enough to block ads or, even better, ethically opposes blocking ads.

It is concerning that a business model can be dependent on necessary ignorance of the users. Sounds like a bubble waiting to pop.


There's probably zero people in the world who ethically oppose ad blockers and haven't heard about Facebook yet.


I know a couple people that are ethically opposed to ad-blocking and have never bothered to sign up for Facebook.


Huge difference between "never heard of" and "never bothered to subscribe". An ad in NYT is unlikely to win their minds.


The comment you replied to had the phrasing:

  They may have heard of the company but haven't tried it, or they tried it in the past and just need the brand occasionally refreshed in their mind until they try it again.
Nobody but you claimed that these people "haven't heard of" Facebook. You seem to be under the false impression that ads are only for people that have never heard of something. That is almost the opposite of the truth.


They ran a full page ad this week in the FAZ the German equivalent of the NYT basically apologizing and promising to follow a new set of values.


This week!? I thought they did that a few weeks ago because of Cambridge Analytica? What did they do this time?


Many universally-recognized brands still advertise, because advertising isn't just about mere awareness of a product. It brings the product to mind and can continue to shape perception. The returns on advertising certainly diminish as you saturate awareness, but some level of maintenance is still worth doing.


They had TV ads in India. And ads targeted specifically at the rich, English-speaking, Netflix-watching upper-middle class.

Meaning they're losing this all-important audience


I haven't logged into facebook in 6 months or so, and in the last couple of weeks, I've gotten about 5 emails a day about things my facebook "friends" just posted, and reminders to come back; The usual rate is about 2-3/week.

I assumed I wasn't personally targeted, and that it's part of a "increase monthly and daily now!" campaign FB is running. Seems like they had a good reason to try.


> I assumed I wasn't personally targeted, and that it's part of a "increase monthly and daily now!" campaign FB is running. Seems like they had a good reason to try.

That kind of manipulative notification behavior has been around a long time. Whenever their algorithm detects you might be drifting off, they send you more and more needy notifications in order to tempt you back. Though, I wouldn't be surprised of they've cranked up the neediness level recently.


From the article: ``The company reported 1.47 billion daily active users, while Wall Street expected 1.49 billion; it logged 2.23 billion monthly active users, as analysts expected 2.25 billion.''

It doesn't feel like the results justify the 20% drop.


You missed this from their earnings.

“Our total revenue growth rates will continue to decelerate in the second half of 2018, and we expect our revenue growth rates to decline by high single-digit percentages from prior quarters sequentially in both Q3 and Q4."


It doesn't feel like the results justify the 20% drop.

You have to remember one main way analysts estimate what a share is worth today - they model out time-discounted earnings in perpetuity. A company that is expected to grow in the future is worth much more today than a company that isn't expected to grow at all.

The stock didn't drop because they missed this quarter alone, it's because all the analysts models are now assuming future earnings will grow much more slowly into the foreseeable future.


Facebook MAU was flat in the U.S. and Canada.

It declined in Europe.

Expect total expense growth to exceed revenue growth in 2019.

Also expect revenue growth rates to decline by high single digit percentages from prior quarters sequentially in Q3 and Q4.

They painted a rough road ahead compared to how the stock had been valued in many people’s models.


I can see the decline in Europe being unsettling, but I'm not really surprised about US/Canada. ~185 million is about 52% of the population of US/Canada [3]. If we assume 35% of the population is simply too young to use it (20% under 14 [2]) or too old to be drawn to it (15% is over 65 [1]), that leaves only 13% of US/Canada's population which are feasible MAUs no being MAU, which is crazy.

[1]: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/cb17...

[2]: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.0014.TO.ZS

[3]: https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=185+million+people+%2F...


Yes, and that's a massive problem. They reached probably what is close to their peak capacity and need to find ways to extract more money out of their existing MAUs because those numbers are stagnant or dropping.


Is it safe to say they're now tied to economic growth in developing nations? I'm sure they'll find ways to make more money out of rich countries for the sake of short-term growth, but if India alone is over 1 billion people, it's interesting to think that over the long term their revenue will depend on the increase of purchasing power in that and other developing nations.

Of course if they're still dominant when this happens.


Long-term, yes, that's basically the only thing they can do. Short-term the imbalance in ARPU between regions is massive and they can't really invest that much in developing nations when there's a magnitude of difference or more in between revenue, regardless of the potential user base.


I wonder how much of the European decline was driven by GDPR rules, especially opt-in requirements. GDPR-like laws are being debated on and passed here in the US by individual states. Probably a tough environment to expand on MAU right now.


Markets tend to over-optimize. That's why I warned caution when many were saying the Cambridge Analytica scandal didn't harm Facebook, even though it was obvious FB was being quite misleading about what was actually impacted at the time and about the fact that their good results were actually given by the stuff that had happened before Cambridge Analytica.

Over-optimization means that even when a string of bad news hit, the stock may not change much because of the previous string of good news still having inertia and the market "not really believing" the new bad stories. But eventually the market sentiment changes, and then it all comes crashing down, and now the bad news are over-optimized, and the good news become irrelevant. And the cycle repeats itself.

This is harder to see with stock because it tends to happen over a multi-year span, but it's much easier to see with cryptocurrencies where this happens over a several months period.


The numbers have been growing continuously since the beginning, until this quarter[1]. Traders are reacting to the idea of "peak Facebook" -- that is, an end to growth -- and not just a 1.4% drop in DAU.

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-d...


And even more so -- their guidance was pretty terrible for the next couple quarters.


> It doesn't feel like the results justify the 20% drop.

Neither does it for me.

FB is still the only real GOOGL competitor in the ad market. It's revenue and market share is growing. All it has to do is extracting more money from its huge user base, which at least with instagram it hasn't really tried for now.

Employing content reviewers won't come cheap, but that investment is going to be faced by all social media platforms and in turn will be sector neutral. Facing regulatory burdens with measures like this helps the big ones manifest their oligopol.

While I can echo most HNers sentiment (I too decreased my FB usage before and after the CA scandal) I think we are not precisely the best socio-economic group to serve as indicator for what drives people or doesn't: Most people are happy to share on social media platforms (no matter how repugnant I feel about it) and there is no social media real estate like FB or IG around.

Fundamentally it's still cheaper than GOOGL in terms of P/E and just costs half of what GOOGL costs for every $ of FCF.


I presume the dollar value of a US or European user to advertisers is greater than that of an Indian or African user. European user count going down is problematic.

But the problem with these after hours sessions is that they don't have much liquidity and that you can easily have a market squeeze due to people covering their position. This is what happened with the VIX ETNs.


There have been 34 million shares traded after hours. Avg volume during the day is 19 mil.


Everyone but most retail investors can trade during AH, while the liquidity may be lower - I'd say the participating agents are more logical and have enough capital to drive big moves.


Retail investors can easily trade after hours. With Fidelity, it’s a simple check box/request to enable it.


From their last quarterly report, quarterly ARPU is 25.91 for US/Canada users, 8.76 for European users, 2.62 for APAC users, and 1.91 for the rest of the world.

It's likely that European and US/Canada user count growth is flat or nearly so, and their gains recently have been out of getting more dollars per user through increasing advertising revenue as opposed to getting more users. It could be (or not) that they can grow those revenues even more.


The issue isn't that Facebook isn't doing fine, it's that they missed their forecasts. Wall Street wants predictability and if you can't predictably forecast your next quarter/fiscal year, then you become a liability.

You could have a bad quarter and not get punished (too much) for it, assuming that your forecast was correct.


What about time spent by active users? They can still be active, all right, but not so much.


I think it's more about their revenue miss and some concern about their scandals impacting revenue.

> The company’s top line was $13.04 billion, weaker than $13.34 billion analysts expected, suggesting that the world’s largest social network has begun to feel some of the effects of the controversies that have battered it during the quarter.


Can that statistic be interpreted as 65% of people who use Facebook at all use it every day? That’s some pretty impressive stickiness


well when you have a PE ratio of 33 anything but forward progress is bad.


The market has expected this for years. Look at Facebook's declining P/E ratio.[1] 81 in 2005. 22 now. Successful established companies have P/E ratios in the 10-20 range. Facebook is coming in for a landing as an established company, ending its growth company phase. This is a normal part of the corporate life cycle.

[1] https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/fb/pe-ratio


You cannot say a 20% drop AH is "expected" by investors. If this was truly "expected" then the slowing growth would've been long accounted for in the price.


I think you* have unreasonable expectations for precision in valuation. 20% is not a large fluctuation in the context of the unlimited future of a company. Something truly unexpected would make an order of magnitude difference.

*but you're not alone.


How is 20% not a large fluctuation? That doesn't make sense. If you want absolute numbers it's $130 Billions. Almost worth 4 Twitters.


Without getting into any theory about how much stocks should vary, if you choose a bunch of random stocks and track them for a few months, I think you would find out that 20% is not a lot.

Stock prices should come with uncertainty bars, like scientific quantities, but there is of course no standard way to calculate and denote that.


FB Options expiring this Friday had an implied volatility of about 100% before close of day.

A 20% drop in 2 trading days has around a 1/700 chance of happening under a Black-Scholes model.

So yes, this does happen in the market, but it's a reasonably rare event.

(As another data point on how rare this was, $190 puts were being sold for $0.3/share. Those are now worth $17, a 50x return)

Sources:

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/FB/options?p=FB

https://www.hoadley.net/options/barrierprobs.aspx


A 1/700 chance per day means that it happens every two years or so, right?


Two years of days where implied volatility is 100%. That is not an everyday level of implied volatility.

A single day move of twenty percent is rare even in small caps. Facebook moving that much means the market did not except even the risk of something this big.

For comparison when Nissan announced a recall of over a million cars their stock moved less than three percent. Single day moves are rarely so large, and almost never this large for a single company.


Of course they have uncertainty bars. They are called stock options.


That's not what I mean. Options tell you something about what people expect to happen to prices in a given timeframe, but that's not the same as the uncertainty in the underlying value. For example, say I have an early stage biotech company that's losing money. The value is somewhere between zero (if they go out of business before becoming profitable) to a fairly large number if everything goes perfectly. Options have an expiration date, and probably the longest dated ones on a lot of stocks are under 2 years. That's a pretty short time period. I just looked at an example, and the at-the-money calls and puts were about 40% of the price of the stock with expiration around 1.5 years out. That's not at all where I would put an uncertainty range, because at any time the stock can suddenly reflect prospects beyond 1.5 years in the future.


Options are one of the best tools we have to price uncertainty in the value of publicly traded companies. The option prices allow you, using Black Scholes, to calculate an implied volatility that can be used quite similarly to the error bars on a measurement.

The EMH would say that a company's stock price accurately reflects all current knowledge about a stock's underlying value. So from the point of view of an investor in publicly traded companies, a stock's price and its underlying value are the same thing.

Options have an expiration date because as the further you go out the more uncertain things are, and the harder it becomes to make a market in options in a way that (a) won't result in a high chance of losses and (b) will have someone actually willing to buy them. That's why you don't see 10, 20 or 50 year options.

That doesn't hurt their value for pricing uncertainty because as options expire, new ones are minted. Therefore, you can always use them to price the uncertainty of the price to the next quarter, the next 6 months or the next year.


Black Scholes is a terrible model though. Just ask LTCM what they think of Bob and Myron's toy.

Put another way, "don't get high on your own supply."


They do use that - beta (measure of volatility of a stock relative to the market)


That 20% drop brought its stock value back to where it was a year ago, which was an all-time high for it then. Investors that have held it for longer than a year can still sell it at a profit.


But no one is talking about investors holding stocks for more than a year in this comment chain. That's tangential to this comment chain, sorry.

And to your point, investors could have sold for over 25% of profit as well if they had sold it earlier today. So I still stand by saying that this is huge change. Besides, this thread is not about long term, just invest in index funds so I just fail to see the point.


The comment you responded to specifically says "in the context of the unlimited future of the company" which I took to be much longer than a year.


I was coming from the perspective that there is really no such thing as a short term investor, because when you sell, you are dependent on what people think the long term prospects of the stock are.


Okay sorry, I may have mixed things up.


Market would be expecting the direction, but underestimated how fast it would be. Or the revenue growth numbers are about on expectation but the size of the margin decline is unexpected.


Don’t bother stressing over after hours drops like this. Right now FB is still a buy and when the market opens in the morning it could quickly rise up several percent again, and probably be back in the 200s soon to enough.


May I borrow your crystal ball...


Scry what you can


The P/E ratio is backward-looking, because it considers past earnings, not future earnings. AMZN has a P/E of 293. AAPL has 18. TWTR has 90. This is not a terribly meaningful metric for tech names with huge growth potential.


>This is not a terribly meaningful metric for tech names with huge growth potential.

Think that was OP's point. That facebook has matured and is no longer a growth company.


It means the market doesn't think there is any "huge growth potential".


Overall what they say make sense. It's coming down indicating that the growth is slowing down? I think 20% correction is huge and just unexpected.


The pessimistic guidance dovetails well with Zuckerberg's recent, wide-ranging interview with Kara Swisher[1]. FB has been the darling of tech and general media, until the last 2 years--turning a great brand to an increasingly toxic one. By Zuckerberg's own estimation, FB's "retooling" needs 3 years, and they are about 1 1/2 years in, so the guidance reflects that timeline. If they deliver on that timeline, a rough 2nd half of 2018 and all of 2019 is to be expected.

[1] https://www.recode.net/2018/7/18/17575156/mark-zuckerberg-in...


>"and at the same time, it was encouraging to see the vast majority of people affirm that though want us to use context, including from web sites this they visit, to make our ads more relevant and improve their overall product experience.”

I assume the vast majority clicked 'Agree' or similar on prompts about updated policies, but it's funny to phrase it this way. Obviously if asked directly, the vast majority would't actually affirm that.


I'm seeing a lot of "I deleted and I don't even miss it" comments. I haven't deleted my account just yet, but I only check the news feed once a week.

Taking this anecdotal evidence into account, I wonder if it's just Facebook's core audience growing out of social media. Sure, Zuckerberg has a bazillion users, but his site started by selectively inviting college students in the early 00's. Those early adopters are now all in their 30s and have better things to do than gossip and post vanity shots all day. Maybe the older audience who joined the site later are losing interest because that core was less active.

And then there's the younger generation who actively avoid Facebook and stay connected through a massive spread of other apps/games/sites that are not outright social media outlets. Without a major pivot, this could be big trouble for FB.


  2007
  High school acquaintance: Join us on facebook!
  Me: What for? So you can treat me like shit like you did in high school?

  2008
  Cousin: Join us on facebook, so you can stay in touch.
  Me: Why don't you just tell me what's happening like you always have?
 Then we can shoot the shit and laugh and talk and gossip, just us two, like we always have?

  2009
  Neighbor: Why don't you join our community group on facebook so you can see what's going on?
  Me: I'll just pay my dues and spend my time on what's really important to me.

  2010
  Work associate: Why don't you work at facebook? Everywhere else is lame.
  Me: Because lots of other places are doing cool stuff that really matters.

  2011
  Friend: I can't believe you're still not on facebook. Everyone is!
  Me: Your 2 sentences contradict each other.

  2012
  Me: Why didn't you invite me to your wedding?
  Fraternity brother: Because you're not on facebook.
  Me: Lame. And classless.

  2013
  Sister-in-law: Your business cannot succeed unless it has a presence on facebook.
  Me: Really? I just had my best year ever.

  2014
  Local business: See what we're up to on facebook.
  Me: I just go somewhere with their own website.

  2015
  Me: Why didn't you answer my emails?
  Friend: Why didn't you just message me?
  Me: What's that?

  2016
  Work friend: How do you manage to get so damn much work done?
  Me: Because I'm not spending hours every day on facebook on my phone.
  I'm too busy building stuff.

  2017
  Business guru: A following on facebook is not nearly as effective as a good email list.
  There's too much noise for the signal.
  Me: You don't say?

  2018
  Almost everyone: What have we done?!?
  facebook is ruining everything!
  Our privacy is gone! How do we get off?
  Me: I get off every day. The old fashioned way.


So you literally missed a wedding and probably lost some friends and you still think it was a good idea?

I mean I don't spend too much time on Facebook (I hate procrastinating so I'm limiting myself a lot). But it has been the most useful website I have used in the past 10 years. Yes more than Gmail or Github. It wasn't useful for work, but I'm still working hard even with facebook. I check it only in the bathroom.

Concerning privacy? Privacy is long gone. And I couldn't care less. And I knew that in 2010, no need for cambridge analytica scandal. I just only communicate as if everything was public. I don't mind if any employer sees my entire Facebook/Twitter history. I don't mind if the presidential candidates know what type of milk I drink. I don't mind the government can track where I am using GPS or cell tower triangulation. I am who I am, and I have nothing to hide.


Now when some one asks me why I am not on FB, I will just redirect to this :-). Thanks and I thank myself for having not wasted even a second on any Social NW site, not that I look down on others who do. To each his own, for me staying away helped and I profited!


HN is a social networking site, it is the only one I use. but I am spending time reading these comments... and probably do not want tknow the total time per week I spend on this site, I might cry because my excuse of not having time to exercise could be wrong.


> Wehner said a combination of currency headwinds, new privacy controls, and new experiences like Stories will contribute to the deceleration

I remember the day Chambers Saif Cisco hit an air pocket. Since then it has only been layoffs, cuts and austerity for Cisco. Never really recovered. Is it the same day for FB?

> Cisco on Wednesday reported healthy profit and sales gains for its fiscal first quarter, in line with Wall Street expectations. But a host of challenges -- including losses in public sector accounts and in specific product areas like set-top boxes -- coupled with a less-than-invigorating sales forecast for the current quarter, were enough to send Cisco's shares tumbling.

> Cisco CEO John Chambers, on Cisco's Q1 conference call, described the challenges as hitting an "air pocket," and was bullish on many of the areas in which Cisco excelled. But he set a subdued tone for the call, especially with the forecast that second quarter revenues would increase only about 3 to 5 percent, and a forecast that revenue growth for fiscal 2011 overall would be 9 to 12 percent, well below both the 13 percent for Q2 and the 13.1 percent for FY11 predicted by analysts.

> Specifically, said Chambers, orders came in over $500 million below Cisco's initial Q1 sales forecast.


As well, Facebook announced that they were going to set up a new incubator in China.

Then today or yesterday their permission to do so was yanked by Chinese authorities.

EDIT: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-25/just-hours-after-a... summary of stories from NYT, Reuters, etc. on this matter


I don't like the Chinese government at all. But at least there is a powerful force against stopping this company from infecting all of the humanity.

I just wish India would take a similar stand and then game over for Facebook.


I deleted my Facebook account more than 2 years ago. Installed Instagram to test what the fuss was about. But uninstalled it in a day.

The thing that's still Facebook and major part of my life is WhatsApp. Chit chats, group discussions, and calls with family back home all happen through WhatsApp.

Couldn't transition to other apps because most people in my family and friends circle don't really care about privacy or data security. They prefer convenience.

Without them switching, it's going to be hard for me to switch.


> Couldn't transition to other apps because most people in my family and friends circle don't really care about privacy or data security. They prefer convenience.

What's wrong with phone calls and SMS? Granted they're not more secure, but at least they're not Facebook. I don't know any WhatsApp users, so I'm unaware of the advantage.


My social circles use it because it provides a consistent experience. Some have androids, and some have iPhones. When you have an all iPhone group chat, things work rather well. Liking different texts, animations, etc work well. But when you add a non-iPhone to the mix, the texts are sent sms-style, so you get messages that say "Sam liked X's comment!".

It's easier for everyone to use WhatsApp, because that platform provides a consistent experience. Also I can search messages in WhatsApp, I can't find this in iMessage.


Phone calls need to be in real time while Whatsapp chat can be read when you are free. Group SMS does not work because I am not aware of such functionality in Android.

During group discussions (like say planning a trip), we often share screenshots/images of hotels and other services for groups to vote on. These things are not possible with SMS or calls.

In India, most people I know have stopped using SMS altogether. Even I have stopped looking at SMS mostly because all the SMS I get is either an OTP (10%), a transactional message (10%), or a marketing message/SPAM (80%).

The last time I sent someone a personal message (or someone sent me one) using SMS was probably 2 years ago.


I've been happy as a clam to delete my Facebook and Instagram accounts over the last couple of years, and, like you, WhatsApp is a necessity. I spend 10+ months a year abroad, and WhatsApp has taken over as the default mode of communication. You don't ask for someone's phone number any more, you ask for their WhatsApp.

I wonder what it will take for WhatsApp to be dethroned? Perhaps a massive data leak, or proof that their e2e encryption has been knowingly compromised to gather data for Facebook advertising.


I think the stock price is finally catching up to reality and public perception. I've noticed a huge resistance to using Facebook in recent years within my social sphere. Professionally, I'm one of the few that I know that still use the service; I think it's FOMO keeping me on, but I find it extremely difficult to add content to my profile and find myself mostly acting as a passive consumer of others' content.


Install Newsfeed eradicator and then remove the app from your phone. Brought me down to maybe check the site once every couple weeks for notifications.


But the thing is that the same people resisting Facebook are spending more and more time on Instagram....which is owned by facebook.


but ig is so much harder to advertise / convert on


Pretty much anyone who has a brand that targets millennials advertises on IG. I see dozens of Kickstarter products and re-targeting from e-commerce around the web.


They have over a billion daily active users. That is more than the EU and the US COMBINED! Any personal opinions about a product are practically useless when your customer base is that freaking large and diverse.

Edit: I avoid facebook like what seems like most other people here on hacker news but my point is that hacker news is in no way shape or form representative of the global population.


DAU != people.


> That is more than the EU and the US COMBINED

Source? From two quick Google searches it seems like the EU and the US Z combined make more than 1bn users.


According to Google search for EU and US populations:

EU population: 508 million people

US population: 325.7 million people


When Facebook posted good returns and stock didn't drop right after Cambridge Analytica many were gloating about how that is "proof" that the privacy scandal didn't affect Facebook and that no privacy scandal will ever affect Facebook.

But they were simply not looking closely enough. And as I said back then, you need to give this sort of things time to see the real effects, like at least until the end of the year. Because I believe the worst is still ahead of Facebook. Facebook is now on a downwards path, and it's irreversible.

Facebook is now officially Blackberry. And just like with Blackberry before, many dismissed the fundamental issues of the company while blindly following the "record quarters" Blackberry kept having until 2009.

If they had just looked closely enough, they would've seen that BB's core North American market was on a steep decline path and it was also obvious that its phones were nowhere near as good as iPhones or Android phones.

Just look at what's happening to Facebook engagement. Ignore Facebook's sugarcoating. Look how the people around you are using Facebook and what they say about it.


> When Facebook posted good returns and stock didn't drop right after Cambridge Analytica many were gloating about how that is "proof" that the privacy scandal didn't affect Facebook and that no privacy scandal will ever affect Facebook.

> But they were simply not looking closely enough. And as I said back then, you need to give this sort of things time to see the real effects, like at least until the end of the year.

I agree.

> Because I believe the worst is still ahead of Facebook. Facebook is now on a downwards path, and it's irreversible.

I don't think I agree. Facebook still has many opportunities for user and revenue growth in Instagram and WhatsApp. As far as being irreversible, Microsoft was in a very dire position too and now it's having record-breaking quarters. It'll largely depend on leadership and direction.

> Facebook is now officially Blackberry. And just like with Blackberry before, many dismissed the fundamental issues of the company while blindly following the "record quarters" Blackberry kept having until 2009.

If they had just looked closely enough, they would've seen that BB's core North American market was on a steep decline path and it was also obvious that its phones were nowhere near as good as iPhones or Android phones.

One bad quarter doesn't make a company "officially Blackberry". IIRC, Blackberry didn't release it first touch-screen phone until 2013 (5 years after the iPhone) and it's first Android phone until 2015 (8 years after the iPhone). It was their stubbornness quarter after quarter, year after year that sank them-- they weren't dead the minute the iPhone was released just like Samsung wasn't. They should've just played smart and embraced Android/touchscreens from the get-go.

Will Facebook remain stubborn or will it gain trust back? I don't know. Calling it dead already is a huge oversimplification though.

> Just look at what's happening to Facebook engagement. Ignore Facebook's sugarcoating. Look how the people around you are using Facebook and what they say about it.

The people around me are not an accurate sample of all Facebook users around the world. In my case, I see a lot of people using Facebook for Events and Marketplace. I see everyone on Instagram. The real data is in the numbers. Facebook's website falling behind Reddit is telling, but Instagram and WhatsApp surpassing Snapchat's stories also is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Its mostly because of the guidance, not the miss.

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