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The big question is: How could the social media giant be so careless and unconcerned about the data of the very users who helped it earn billions in revenues by way of advertisements?
“IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING, YOU’RE THE PRODUCT”
Facebook has been putting into practice what marketing specialists have for long summed up in the slogan: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product.” And it has been extremely rewarding for the company.
A free service for you, Facebook earns 98% of its revenues from advertisements which amounted to $ 40 billion in 2017. Not only has the company seen a rapid rise in revenues, it has cornered, 20 per cent of the global online advertising market.
FACEBOOK GROWING AD REVENUES, COURTESY YOU
HOW FACEBOOK TRACKS YOU?
By tracking what you do on Facebook, all your likes, shares, comments, events you are interested in, what you search for, even links and images you send on Facebook Messenger, Facebook has deep insights into your online behaviour. This, along with personal data is tracked and shared by the social media giant with the advertisers to help them zone in on their target audience.
READ ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg: Give me another chance, I’m still the man to run Facebook
HOW MUCH DOES FACEBOOK EARN PER USER?
The company’s success is not only due to its ability to increase its user base but more so due to its ability to make more and more money off of its existing users. As of now the company’s most profitable users are Americans and Europeans.
FACEBOOK’S MASSIVE REACH
To understand the impact of the breach, one must keep in mind how pervasive and wide Facebook’s reach is. It has more than 2 billion monthly active users and is by far the most popular social network worldwide. And a large part of its appeal lies in its strong mobile integration and mobile messaging capabilities with Facebook Messenger, being one of the most popular mobile messenger apps worldwide.
DATA BREACH IMPACT ON INDIA
India has the largest number of Facebook user’s worldwide. It’s therefore not surprising that Indian users have been are impacted by Facebook’s poor privacy norms. The company has revealed that potentially, data of 5.6 lakh Indian users—roughly 0.22% of its users in India—was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica.
READ ALSO: Over half a million Indian Facebook users may have been affected in data breach
For the moment Facebook’s problems just aren’t getting fixed fast enough – fake news, controversial elections, the Cambridge Analytica data breach, face-offs with government’s and lawmakers over privacy norms – its a tangled web that the company seems to be caught in.