Facebook is officlally the largest Social Network in the world and with that comes a lot of interesting information. However it doesn’t seem as though you can go a month using the Social Network without seeing some news about Facebook using your pictures in Ads, starting to charge for their service or someone copying and pasting an entirely useless ‘legal notice.’ So let’s separate some Facebook facts from some Facebook fibs.
Facebook owns the copyright to all the pictures you post on Facebook.
This is a slightly confusing issue for many people. When you post a picture to Facebook you retain the copyright and Facebook cannot sell that picture on. However Facebook can use your profile and images for it’s own advertising without seeking your permission or paying you anything. The most common form of this is Facebook using your profile picture next to an advertisement from a business you have liked or followed. They may also use your comments or profile in external ad campaigns.
Facebook is the largest Social Network
Facebook has over 1.55 billion active monthly users and 1.3billion of these users are active on the Facebook Mobile App. The latest figures estimate that there are 3.2 billion internet users in the world, that means roughly half of internet users have a Facebook account. However there are roughly 700 million internet users in China and the Chinese government blocks access to Facebook so in reality well over half of internet users are regular Facebook users. There are over 1.5 million active advertisers on Facebook. Each day there are over 4.75 billion items shared on Facebook and over 10 billion messages sent. Each minute over 250,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook.
Facebook is going to start charging a subscription fee
This rumour does the rounds of Facebook every few months. The head honchos at Facebook shoot it down emphatically every time and they must be very tired of it by now. According to them Facebook will remain free to the user forever, they have no intent to change such a highly successful business model. The service is kept free by Facebook selling advertising space and also by passing on your information to advertisers. Remember, if a service is free then you are the product!
It’s really quite difficult to completely delete your Facebook account
Facebook have a guide on how to permanently delete and deactivate your account here. But be warned, it’s a pretty exhaustive procedure. Once you start the process it can take months for everything to be deleted. During the two weeks after you start the deletion process you cannot login into Facebook in any way otherwise you have to start the process again. This means you have to separate all accounts linked with Facebook, there are dozens of commonly used Apps and services that link to Facebook which means this can take a very long time! Some things like messages to other people remain on Facebook even after you delete your account, it’s almost impossible to remove all traces of yourself from Facebook!
Using 3rd Party Apps you can see who has viewed your profile
Facebook have said categorically that there is no way to see who views your profile. They know of no way for anyone to find or track such data. You can relax, no-one is going to know how many times you’ve looked up old classmates or old flames to see if they’re successful now!
Facebook is the most financially sound Social Network
Ad revenue and total revenue for Facebook are rising at incredible rates year-on-year for Facebook. Whilst Twitter and Instagram struggle with effective monetisation Facebook has passed all of it’s teething issues to become an ad platform that is being given increasing attention by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whilst user habits are changing Facebook has managed to create a stable model and isn’t experiencing the same issues as other Social Networks such as Twitter which are beginning to stall and falter.
Posting a ‘legal notice’ or ‘opt-out’ protects your rights or changes something
You don’t need to be a lawyer to debunk this one. When you sign up to Facebook you agree to their Terms of Service. Posting a declaration that you no longer allow something or disagree with their ToS doesn’t change that. This is why you should always read the small print.
Facebook is changing and diversifying
Facebook recently acquired Oculus VR, a leading virtual reality business. The success of Facebook along with the industry practices of it’s competitors like Google are encouraging them to diversify their portfolio. Zuckerburg has stated that his intentions go beyond pure financial gain into a desire to change the world. Some projects like Oculus could be poised to make Facebook huge amounts of money but other purchases, such as Whatsapp have proved to be failures, financially at least. Facebook is trying to situate itself as more than just a Social Network, tinkering with internal algorithms and search functions has led to more people stating that they find News stories on Facebook first. Facebook is also seeing a surge in it’s video consumption, becoming the second largest vehicle for video sharing behind Youtube.