Facebook to Focus on Privacy and Communication
Do you ever feel like the big downfall of social media is that it's all too open and exposed? The internet used to be far more of an anonymous experience, but now it seems like everyone is can see everything and nothing is really all that private. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has some big plans for what he considers the future of social media as a whole, and they involve focusing on privacy and encrypted messages. He wants to do this for all of his platforms, which now include Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. That may not bring back a totally anonymous experience, but it should provide additional security.
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg wrote in a public statement this week. "This is the future I hope we will help bring about."
One of the big questions here will be trust. Many people do assume that anything they put online is there forever, for anyone to read. Even if Facebook says that future communications are secure, will users actually buy it? If they do, this could breathe new life into Facebook. That trust could make it one of the most-used platforms in the world for the foreseeable future. If users don't believe it, the platform could stagnate or even decline. It will be very important to keep an eye on these changes moving forward.
The Role of Businesses
One thing is for sure: Zuckerberg is clearly conscious of the ways that Facebook is growing and changing on its own, and of what that means for the future of the business model. "Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication," he noted. "There are a number of reasons for this. Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends. People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they've shared. And we all expect to be able to do things like payments privately and securely."
This line indicates that he's clearly not trying to cut businesses and corporations out of the picture, turning Facebook into a private messaging service for friends and family members. The focus is also on businesses. People want those communications, especially when financial details are involved, to stay utterly private. He hopes that this new focus could actually make it a more valuable and trusted resource for online businesses than it has ever been before.
A Long-Term Goal
Zuckerberg did admit that this is a long-term goal, not something that will be realized overnight. He has a lot of work ahead of him.
"Over the next few years, we plan to rebuild more of our services around these ideas," he said. "The decisions we'll face along the way will mean taking positions on important issues concerning the future of the internet. We understand there are a lot of tradeoffs to get right, and we're committed to consulting with experts and discussing the best way forward. This will take some time, but we're not going to develop this major change in our direction behind closed doors. We're going to do this as openly and collaboratively as we can because many of these issues affect different parts of society."
That openness is important, as it will allow users -- whether businesses or individuals -- to prepare, react and even have a hand in these changes. Additionally, the comment about rebuilding services means that business owners may have to consider how these new and improved offerings can best reach their current customer base. Do not assume that anything that works right now will still work in 12 months or two years. Success depends on constantly staying on top of those changes and capitalizing on them as they happen.
A Changing Social Media World
As you work on social media marketing, it is critical to keep an eye on the ways that social media shifts and evolves. This change could be huge for business owners, which is why you must know how to incorporate this type of marketing into your overall advertising plan.