It's funny when you think about it, in the earlier years, you had the network search tool. Basically all profiles were public and you could search based on age, country, gender, university... everything. I could literally narrow down searches to people on a street. Was it really more private then? No? Then what changed? At what point will privacy be fulfilled and can one really call it a social network at that point?
There is Diaspora, if privacy is really what users want then, why haven't we seen a massive conversion to Diaspora?
Users are generally right, it doesn't matter in most cases. No harm is being done... yet.
The general trend is toward services that do not make privacy optional and that require the users to accept a narrower range data collection and advertisement policies in order to use the service.
In time (maybe in 5-10 years) getting on the internet will require accepting terms that basically give up lots of privacy and anonymity. (My other prediction is that we'll see the return of interruption ads that cannot be skipped for nearly all content, or every 7 or 8 minutes during a typical internet usage setting).
The above is why investors are paying so much money for shares of Google and Facebook. Both are a combination of internet gatekeeper and data collector. Both are awaiting the right moment so they can enter the "last mile" business. In the meantime, the fact that users don't care is just gravy.
Incidentally, the most relevant consequence of this in today's world is that both firms are happy to do whatever powerful governments want. Facebook and Google are destined to become the next Halliburton and Ratheon as cyber warfare and terrorism loom large as threats to security and government finds itself horribly data-poor compared to private firms.
While I agree that privacy is not "really what users want", the lack of a massive conversion to Diaspora is not indicative of anything. There was an article a week or two ago where an investor pointed out that Facebook is a natural monopoly. What they were talking about is basically that, now that most people are on Facebook, they're not going to pick up and walk out for another social network.
You might. Your friends might. But you post on HN, too.