First, to quote the article:
> The big gainer, interestingly, is under the same roof as Facebook. It's their co-owned Instagram
Now, to my point: The average person does not care about privacy, just the illusion of privacy (I suspect people reading this site intuitively know this. At some level, nearly everyone is in different ways, it turns out.)
Instagram provides that illusion by not injecting opinionated content into your feed (The most obvious example: you aren't seeing injected news stories in your Instagram feed, generally its only ads and people you follow, and the ads are marked)
Rest assured, they're getting their data's worth, maybe not the same way, but photos (particularly metadata on the photos that most smart phones, for instance, default collect) are just as (if not more so) valuable, not to mention there are still a myriad of other ways of collecting privacy intrusive data about users.
Hows about that?
(just to show my assertion is not completely unfounded, check out this survey:
The survey says: 9 out of ten americans care deeply about privacy (particuarly around data privacy and collection)
Yet, our actions, even faced with the outright knowledge of those very things being actively and routinely violated by services, is not enough for people to leave platforms for good, simply, people shift between social media outlets, like those leaving Facebook over privacy concerns yet still continue to use Instagram, in fact, Instagram is projected to grow as noted in this article, in part because of people migrating away from Facebook)
Yes, many of those people are on Instagram, but some of those have also left IG because they’re seeing the exact same strategy they saw executed on Facebook now being used on Instagram.
I’ve actually seen more people using private iCloud photo shares. I think FB as a whole has exaggerated how many people actually want to share and connect with random people or loose connections.
I did the same, around the same time, and my experience was the same as yours.
I would go even further -- I found that after I quit Facebook, my connections with the people I actually care about increased rather than decreased once the intermediary was removed and we had to start communicating directly with each other.
I work on Big Data for a living and know how inept companies are at actually doing anything useful with personal data. The data being generated is massive and the vast amount of it is random and useless.
My reason for reducing my social media presence is the Like count next to every thought expressed. By adding a publicly visible number next to every expressed human thought, you influence behavior and thinking.
This has all kinds of consequences that tech corps and society are waking up to - ledger.humanetech.com
That is why I have consciously reduced my social media usage.
Your anecdotal experience isn't evidence businesses aren't doing anything with data collection which would be worrying to consumers or that privacy concerns are overrated. And yes, this is what that paragraph of yours is implying.
If your company didn't have a strategy for analytics, it doesn't mean others do not either. The mere fact that users get used to that practice is already a win to those who wish to take advantage of that information.
Not to mention that the greatest threat comes from sharing and connecting those databases, so what may have been random and useless may find significance when sold to other aggregators.
After working in a fin-tech for a while, I realized how greedy these companies are for data, and how useless they render it. I was amazed by the scarcity of talent and overwhelming amount of routine job I encountered and lack of diversity of projects and space for free thinking.
Anyway, I got rid of FB/Insta years ago(4-5 maybe), and recently I also closed LinkedIn acc. as well, I have low tolerance to BS and self-glorified business gurus. I'd rather do something meaningful in my everyday life)))
I can't say if it's a content problem associated to the normalization of social apps as a whole (probably a bit) or the changing of the LI algo to push this stuff to the top (probably also attributable), but it's certainly diminished my general experience.
That said, LinkedIn is still very useful for recruiting and being recruited insofar as it is a widely-used database for professional information. I just don't recommend using it casually.
Not as much of a concern here, but nefarious governments around the world are quite good at doing awful things with this data as well.
This is a problem with focus groups. Ask people 'do you care about your privacy', and almost everyone will answer yes.
There's almost zero social cost to answering that question in the affirmative.
On the other hand, there's a good deal of social sacrifice in leaving these platforms for good.
More likely - they don't care about privacy as much as they say they do and are leaving Facebook because it has become a polluted river of crap.
Even then, it won't save them the money. Like anything else, if you want to save the money - you have to move it out of your regularly accessed account, and put it somewhere else, ideally an account you can't withdraw as easily from.
So - when you cook for your family to save the money - you need to then (immediately) move the money you would normally spend for dinner (perhaps minus the amount for ingredients, time, and power - if you feel it necessary) over to that other account.
But most people never do that, I'd wager.
Instead, that extra money stays in their primary account, which they then likely spend on something else. So their savings continue to be zero (or likely less), and they continue to wonder where their money goes...
Same goes for avoiding exploitative apps: never install apps unless there's no alternative. Block all ads. Deny all notifications, especially on the desktop browser. No, I won't send you my location.
It's annoying to have to maintain a wall of "no" but it saves problems in the long run.
I honestly don't think that there is much social sacrifice involved in leaving these platforms. I think there's a good deal of fear of social sacrifice, though.
All problems that people care about but the average person cannot tackle autonomously.
And that's why societies implemented regulatory bodies (often through national governments, but that's not a requirement).
GDPR is a small step in that direction.
On the other hand, Instagram is plain simple and understandable.
I was grandfathered into this experience and it no longer appeals to me today as an adult. I suspect this phenomenon is affecting other early adopters as well. Can anyone else relate?
The similar scenario happened with news agregator similar to digg - at the beginning wykop was aimed for powerusers, IT professionals but quickly idea was extended and included content of various type. Userbase grow had an upward trend which of course lead again to monetization; ads, sponsored content, microblog, shameless promotion of certain political agendas were introduced and at the same time, the content quality heavily piked down. Site still operates today under third - if I'm not mistaken, owner but I'm no longer there since interaction with biased content and teenager, 20-something trolls is not appealing at all.
So yeah, I believe it's pretty the same thing everywhere: a simple service idea is successful, userbase grows and revenue sources are needed. Sources are being introduced along with new features but content quality starts to drop. Unpopular decisions are made leading users to migrate in search for better and simple alternatives.
The problem really is lack of choice.
If facebook was driven purely by the motivation to help people stay in touch with their friends and to find events going on it would be a truly wonderful platform. Virtually every issue on facebook comes from seeking profits. At least problems from facebooks side anyway. There is also the social issues of propaganda and jealousy but facebook would have more time to deal with these when they aren't making the company more money.
Assume this in every situation and you'll never be disappointed ;)
1. Awareness. I don't think people are aware of how/what services are collecting data and how that data can be collected
2. Influence. Its hard, I imagine, for a lot of people to drop social media altogether. Its not all vanity. My wife has a disability that sometimes leaves her bedridden for weeks. Without social media, she wouldn't be able to communicate with our friends unless they call/text/come over, which they do, but its not always feasible one of those things will happen, so following them on Instagram and chatting via Facebook Messenger is really helpful in keeping her spirits up in those times.
3. Inertia. I think a lot of the current outrage against Facebook has been media driven, in particular, I think after Trump got elected -
(just a side note here before I continue, I'm talking about a criticism of media in general, not democrat vs republican politics or anything of the sort)-
I have a strong feeling, that I can't really substantiate, so take it as you will, of course (I acknowledge I could be wrong), large main stream news outlets started digging around about the mechanics of that election, and stumbled into the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a result, increasingly their practices came under fire, in part because I think some large media organizations (rightly, in my opinion) blame their data harvesting practices on getting Trump elected in the first place.
This also brings up another point I find so sad: despite the openness of the internet, the mass media still reigns supreme in being able to influence the masses, and I (anecdotally) feel like the power of freely and ubiquitously available knowledge via the internet has not had the impact on this sort of thing that one would have hoped. It was one of the promises of the internet in the 90s, that we would all vastly become more informed and it would take vastly less effort (and it does, if you are looking for it).
Or why did hundreds of thousands of users actively choose to share their data with a random company called Cambridge Analytica?
The problem is not lack of choice. The problem is that people don't care.
They certainly have never chosen to do so. You can accuse them of participating in some innane quiz, but it was exactly the big scandal that not only the participants' data, but also that of their friends was sucked and resold to Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge by the "researchers".
What Facebook content do you consider "injected"? AFAIK, the only things in feed are:
1) Posts, events, shares, etc from people or pages that you follow
2) Posts that your friends have interacted with (liked, commented on, etc)
3) Ads that are marked as "promoted"
I consider #2 as injected. Basically, any content that was not directly posted by a "friend" to share to their network.
>Instagram provides that illusion by not injecting opinionated content into your feed (The most obvious example: you aren't seeing injected news stories in your Instagram feed, generally its only ads and people you follow, and the ads are marked)
I think you're right about the content that people like being missing, namely shared video and images, but wrong about the underlying reason people prefer that stuff being gone. The content is vastly different on Instagram 90% of the stuff I see is at least tangentally the life/art/activities of the people I follow. It may be a heavily edited near fake version but it's not the 100th 5 minute craft video or a reshared news story from that (more than) slightly kooky uncle.
I think the general lack of a share button (there are ways to 'reinsta' [I believe that's the term] but from the people I follow that's fairly rare and it's mostly sharing art) leads to a materially different type of content. Maybe this is just a byproduct of the different groups in both though Facebook is the older platform for me so there's a lot of people I don't particularly care about anymore on there and Instagram being newer (and not positioned to me as the primary social hub so there's less pressure to follow everyone) I have a more curated list of followers.
Finally Instagram is just much easier to consume to me since it's mostly just the visual snapshot of some activity with less generic shared content and much less video.
TL;DR: I'm not sure it's the privacy differences (perceived or real) between Facebook and Instagram rather than the content differences. ie more things directly related to the people/groups I follow.
Contrast this with something like Google Maps: It's a privacy nightmare too, but it's also incredibly useful.
If that tracking is being performed on people who have not given informed consent, then it is very bad.
I don't think that's true. That's true for certain things, like Facebook and Google, but those sorts of companies do not constitute "the internet".
All I put on Instagram are landscapes and some cityscapes. I do not see like giving away any privacy doing that.
Alas, phot-sharing days of Instagram are in the past and stories get more and more annoying every day without any option not to see them :(
Which means you have Facebook in a different costume.
The title could be "Instragram gaining millions of users in the US" but I guess that doesn't sell as well.
Also, facebook may be losing users in the US, but it's gaining users overseas. So overall, facebook's overall user count is going to continue to climb for a while.