kraftymiles

Technology, Films, Nonsense

I’ve managed to leave…Bitch

Posted by kraftymiles on March 4, 2008

I’ve been saying for about the last month or so to anyone who will listen that Facebook is dead. In my opinion, it’s got 6 months top to live, and reckon that we will start to see the obituaries in the summer of this year. Couple of reasons for that. Firstly, it’s a temporary success, not a lasting one for Zuckerberg. The sitckiness of the site is entirely down to the fact that all your friends are there. If your friends actually manage to go out and get a life away from the internet, then they will stop appearing in your news roll and start appearing in your living room more. This is partly why I pick summer as the time when it will implode. Also because FB primarily has a student user base that will all be leaving their uni provided broadband at the end of the year and heading either home back to dial up or into more rented accommodation where food becomes more important than a fast connection.
And why 6 months? Well, by then Open Social will have hit the ground running and all the other social networking site except FB will be sharing users. So if you’re on BEBO and I’m on My Space; and J is on Friendster, then it doesn’t really matter, they can all talk to each other. Or so the theory goes.

One of the other reason’s I’m touting for FB’s downfall is that as more and more people become aware of their Ts & Cs they will start to say WTF?
The first thing to note is that FB reserve the right to change their Ts & Cs at any time and by signing up under one set you are agreeing to all future sets of Ts & Cs. I think everyone should be able to spot the bad idea that that is.

OK, the big Bad for me is the section on user generated content. (See how I can use the Web 2.0 words without flinching now?) From FB.

“When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.”

(My emphasis)

Ok, so can you now see what FB have got on you? By uploading a photo, video, song, poem or whatever you are essentially giving it to them. That means that if they wanted to they could use the pics of you and your family in one of their ads without paying you for the priviledge. Lets look at some figures.

One of the most popular applications on Facebook is the Photos application, where users can upload albums of photos, tag friends, and comment on photos. According to Facebook there are:
1.7 billion User photos
160 terabytes of photo storage used with an extra 60 terabytes available
60+ million photos added each week which take up 5 terabytes of disk space

So, that’s something like 6000 new photos a minute they get given, every single minute of the day. As a guideline, a 1/4 page photo in a magazine with circulation of around 750,000 copies per month will net the photographer in the region of $1000, (As a guideline, in the UK, FHM has a circulation of 300,000, Hello! sells on average 1.8million a month. In the US, the Oprah Winfrey magazine sells about 2.5million)

So you can see how this business model could start to rack up the cash. Now admittedly most of the pictures are going to be low res and awful content. Let’s assume that 99% of them are rubbish.

FB get 6000 photos uploaded a minute, only being able to use 60 of them
So in theory if FB were selling on the pics, they could be netting $60K a minute from magazine sales alone.

That’s $86.4 million a day.

And that’s only using a 1% useful ratio, throwing away 99% of the pics. Hell if you only use a 0.01% ratio, meaning 99.99% of the pics uploaded are useless, that’s still 864K a day in revenue.

Still want to post those pics of yourself up there? Thought not. From the Ts & Cs again, the thing is even if you remove them, and they still have a cop y(for example on a backup server) then they can use that. Your only hope is that they overwrite the backups on a regular basis.

So, if this makes you want to leave, good luck. You can cancel your “membership” to FB at any time, but getting them to delete content is a harder issue. There is a group on FB ironically enough telling you how to leave and get your content deleted, but basically you will have to mail FB support and ask for your profile to be removed.

So if you do want to leave Facebook entirely, here’s the group telling you how to do it
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16929680703

and here’s the form you need to fill in.
http://www.facebook.com/cs_forms/fshelp.php?page=9

Someone at FB HQ will then assess your request and get back to you.

Darn! I didn’t manage to get veronica Belmont in there. Oh well, next time.

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