According to its latest financial release, Facebook earned a grand total of $18.4bn in 2019, which reflects an annual decrease of 16%. You might think this financial blow would provide the company with a good opportunity to reflect on all the bad things it’s done over the past year – but instead Zuckerberg has put out a shocker of a statement, claiming that the company has been trying too hard to be liked.
Yes, that’s right, the company that guzzles and mishandles your data, exploits tax loopholes, and allows highly questionable content to foster online has been trying to be agreeable all this time. But Zuck says that’s all about to change, as the company pivots to a new strategy that prioritises being “understood” over being liked.
Accordingly, the company is going to take a clear, hard line on certain issues.
Zuckerberg gives a few examples of these new principles, which include standing against censorship, letting people build communities as they please, and allowing small businesses to flourish via Facebook targeted ads.
A cynical person might say that this amounts to Facebook saying it’s not going to change much in 2020, as it already has lax rules when it comes to the above issues. Especially when it comes to targeted ads, as platform users can’t opt out from this but paying businesses can easily get access to the tool.
Furthermore, Zuck claims that this new strategy is apparently going to improve confidence in the company, as “in order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for”.
While this might be true, increasing efforts to protect data and detect fake news would probably to do more to boost users’ confidence.
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Despite the fall in profits, Facebook still manage to hang on to a healthy user base, reporting that 2.26 billion people were active on a daily basis on at least one of the Facebook-owned platforms throughout December.