Digital business models and user trust: the end of social media?


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Social media has aroused many fears at least since the election of Donald Trump. User confidence is falling. But those who are pronounced dead often live longer. What's next with social media?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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Google vs. Facebook: Battle of the Internet giants

uniebook and Google are undisputed internet giants. Your business model: advertising. While Google generates its advertising revenue from the search function, Facebook the social interaction. Which method works better now? And which business model will be successful in the long term?

Google+, on the other hand, died a slow death. The social network had against Facebook no chance and was switched off at some point. At the same time, Facebook an increasing loss of trust, not only the Cambridge Analytica scandal but also the numerous fake accounts send their regards. So what about the future of Facebook out? And are social media as a whole sustainable?

uniebook in 5 years at the end thanks to a loss of trust?

If you believe trust researcher Rachel Botsman, Facebook in a few years at the end. In an interview with t3n she stated:

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“The Facebook dies. It will be the new Myspace. " 

Botsman is a lecturer at Saïd Business School, part of Oxford University. In her book, "Who can you trust? How technology brought us together - and why it might drive us apart "is all about trust and technology and how trust has changed in the course of civilization's history. Your reason:

“[Users] like Facebook rather passively trust and be there, maybe to find an old classmate. But Facebook has forfeited the trust we as users have in the platform - or better - had in order to play a really essential role in our lives. Just think about it: If Facebook If you want to implement all the planned things, because you had this unique platform, such as starting a television station or a banking service, it will now be extremely difficult. "

The dead live longer

As I have been able to find out over and over again in recent years, especially in relation to social media, those who are said to be dead live longer. From my point of view, however, the business model of Facebook some other weaknesses, especially in direct comparison with Google. These include, for example:

  • The black box weakness: The main problem faced by Facebook from an economic point of view is a characteristic that is also repeatedly criticized by network activists: Facebook is like a black box that wants to absorb all content and lock it from the outside. Those who are not part of the network do not notice what is going on in it. But that is precisely the structural weakness of Facebook: While Google makes all content accessible, Facebook access for users. Of course everyone starts Company first with the claim to be the sole Nr. 1 and try to pull the users on their side. But at some point they realize that it does not work.
  • Hot air syndrome: uniebook to a large extent from hot air and its success from hypes. Former employees of the company have long admitted that Facebook specifically focused on evoking certain emotional responses in the user. There is simply not much more behind it.
  • The “communist” business model: Facebook is interchangeable. While Google's search is unrivaled to this day and Google also monetizes other people's content for free in a kind of communist business model, the business model of Facebook easily copied. The overlaps with other social networks are too strong.
  • Fragmentation of communication: From an evolutionary point of view, all ideas tend to be specific. Our social communication will therefore also continue to fragment: The trend is towards special networks in which special communities meet and exchange ideas - such as LinkedIn for highly specialized business contacts or Researchgate for scientists. Facebook as a network for everyone therefore cannot exist in the market in the long term.
  • The mosaic strategy: For example, Google simply has a much broader basis for its business model with its multitude of services. The search engine provider pursues a strategy of the mosaic tiles, in which many small offers under the brand name Google result in a big whole - unlike Facebook, which so far could only establish the social network.

The end of Facebook only a matter of time?

The imminent end of Facebook? Considering billions of users, this thesis sounds a bit daring. And yet a look back at history shows that this is entirely possible: The Internet as a black box - AOL tried to establish this concept unsuccessfully as early as the 90s. I also notice at Facebook the significantly lower willingness to communicate on the part of users that the really big hype is over.

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After all, fragmentation is a fact that is very evident in economic history. And even if Google+ is behind Facebook lagged behind, Google actually has the broader business model. Is that really the end of Facebook means remains to be seen. In any case, it remains exciting.


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  1. Hal glaze

    Here they are discussing in many places what constitutes professional success and how to achieve it. It is actually quite simple: Good credentials are an important factor, and I personally bring passion for my professional field. And that is exactly what makes a good employee for many companies, the will and willingness to learn and to get excited about his job and the company.

  2. Leon

    Social media is total nonsense, that can easily disappear.

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