(Have you heard? Facebook is launching an email function or already has, and it is expected to be a “Gmail Killer”…)
UPDATE: Facebook only revamped messaging system, it is not an e-mail system says Zuckerberg
Facebook 4 Dummies is inspired by a post I read during the week titled How to Become a Facebook Billioniare. It was written by Christian Fuchs of the Net Politics Blog (Blogs iLove)
In this post, he spelt out in clear terms a solid truth you may very well already be familiar with; that Facebook is making a lot of money because you USE the platform.
How does this money spinning venture work?
Christian opened his post with a staggering statistic that Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder & CEO), tripled his worth from $2 billion in 2009 to $6.9 billion in 2010. Hence, he climbed the Forbes ladder from 158 to 35.
In this atmosphere where the ER-word (economic recession) dominates our screens, papers and radio sets, Zuckerberg is definitely running a unique business model that is financial-depression-proof.
Christian Fuchs says,
Facebook has a relatively small paid workforce, which is due to the fact that only the platform software needs to be prepared and maintained, whereas the multimedia-, data-, and interaction content that is crucial for achieving profit is generated by the users. Without user-generated content and Facebook communication profit on Facebook would not be possible.
In other words, unlike in other media (old media), you and I (USERS) generate the content that keeps the platform running – we run the labour at little or no cost to the proprietor. You can understand this better in comparison to newspaper houses for instance, who need to employ reporters, editors, maintain equipment, employ van-drivers for delivery etc. On Facebook, you perform all these functions yourself , so you are the labourer.
It is termed – INTERNET PROSUMER LABOUR.
The word ‘PROSUMER’ is derived from the amalgamation of the words Producer and Consumer. On the internet, users tend to take on both roles.
Christian Fuchs ends on the note that “the large increase of the wealth of the Facebook founders is mainly due to the infinite exploitation of Internet prosumer labour.”
The funny thing about Facebook as a money-making venture is that although it attracts loads of advertising (which is where all the money comes from because advertisers are sure you are on the platform), marketers are yet to place what value exactly these ads bring. Check out this article on The Wallstreet Journal. Their question is – do consumers really pay attention to these ads on facebook?
I know this post sounds like it is stating the obvious. However, I am providing facts to back up what you may have long suspected, your ‘labour’ on Facebook is the source of billions of dollars. There is definitely no harm in using Facebook, and no harm in generating wealth for another. However, information is power – and as long as you know – you are no longer a Dummy 🙂
You might want to try applying this business model to your individual businesses as well. From the big jumps on the Forbes List, I dare say it is strongly effective.
P.S. More on Facebook: Facebook Conquering the World Through Mobile & Social