I’m sure that lots of you are just like me – completely overwhelmed by the plethora of social media. Sometimes I feel obliged to spend all my time tweeting, liking and hanging out on those sites. To be honest, I can’t face up to the task so I hardly ever do it. Anyway, is it really worthwhile? Let’s have a look.
I’ve never been particularly keen on the social media, for three main reasons. One is that I’ve never found them very interesting – so many posts and tweets are idle chat (or even random burble) rather than genuine news. The second, related, reason is that I’m not so arrogant as to think that all my friends and acquaintances are really that interested in my every move, so I see no reason why I should tell them all that my left nostril is itchy this morning or that my computer keyboard is full of fag ash. The third is that although I’m not a particularly private person, I don’t necessarily want to tell the whole world all my business. I think it should be up to me who I tell about what I’m up to.
So I was quite shocked to read a Wall Street Journal article the other day saying that two gay students had effectively been “outed” to their parents by the unwitting actions of their Facebook friends.
I have to admit that I was never a big fan of Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social media.
Facebook seemed like a hangout for family and friends, not a conduit for business PR.
Twitter’s 140-character limit seemed too, well, limiting to make it useful. (I have to say that Stephen Fry’s much-trumpeted presence there put me off it a bit too. Yes, he’s very clever. But doesn’t he like to let you know it?)
LinkedIn used to be a useful if rather dull way of connecting with business acquaintances and building networks – a bit like FriendsReunited for the business world. But they’ve spoilt it in recent months by turning themselves into a sort of pinstripe Facebook.
As for Google+… well, everyone’s got a profile, but who actually spends time updating it?
Since its founding by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook (FB) has quickly grown to become the world’s most used social website. At first it was mostly used by people to connect with friends and family. However, as the volume of traffic swelled massively, many businesses came to see it as an ideal promotional tool. Let’s see how things have developed.
Why I didn’t like Facebook
It seemed as though some people were obsessed with it. They told the world about everything that was happening in their lives, and it all seemed a bit boring to those who weren’t their closest friends or family. I never really got into it.
Online photo-sharing service Instagram have now been forced to issue a denial that the recent change in their terms of service was intended to give them the rights to sell on their users’ photos to advertisers, without paying or indeed even asking the users concerned.
The new terms of service required users to grant Instagram a “non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide licen[c]e to use the content that you post on or through the service” and also allowed “a business or other entity [to] pay [Instagram] to display your username, likeness, photos and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
Instagram now say that the change was intended “to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram” and blamed confusing language for the misunderstanding.