The short answer is YES. The long answer is below:
Here’s an example. I don’t personally like Facebook as a company. It’s original intent, I believe was good, but it has moved far away from it’s original intent. It was developed, I believe, as a communication tool to allow “friends” to stay in touch even when they are miles and sometimes decades apart. But lately it has become a den of LIES and ADVERTISEMENTS.
I saw a post this morning from BBC News that claimed Vanessa Bryant , the wife of the late Kobe Bryant had taken her own life and left a suicide video. I thought, “How sad if it is true.”
Rather than clicking on the Video, I first Googled the question as to whether she was dead or not. Seems she is very much alive and the video was a hoax. Why on earth would any individual, sick as they may be, want to post such garbage. And why would people share it before checking to see if it were true or not.
Well the answer is … to see the video you are requested to first share it. With more research I found that even when you hit the share button you simply shared the Meme … there is no video. You can read the article here for yourself … or simply read the statement below from the article.
As one opens the video, a news anchor of Fox News appears after sometime, saying Finally, I have a very sad news to share with you today. The video ends abruptly, asking the user to share it on Facebook to continue. But even after sharing it on Facebook, the video does not open.
If I were Vanessa I’d probably considered hiring an investigator to find the culprit that did this then consider suing the person for Libel or Defamation of Character.
Another thing about Facebook is this …
Did you ever notice how you can look for an item to buy anywhere on the internet (whether it be Amazon or any other on-line vendor) and the next time you open your Facebook account you find all kinds of ads about the product you just looked at? What’s up with that. Why is it their business what I bought or considered buying? I mean, if I didn’t buy it – I likely don’t want it … and if I did buy it – I don’t need to see more ads about it.
Or, I can research something on Google or Wikipedia … and later see articles about the information I was searching for showing up on my Facebook page. Some may think of this as a convenience but I think of it as a waste of my time. I’ve already got my answers in the research I did. By the way … this usually, for me, has to do with investments.
It appears she is partially right. There is some areas you can go to and reduce what you see on your page … see the graphics below:
#1 – Click on the Question Mark
#2 Look at your current Privacy …
#3 Set your privacy up the way you want it …
Once this is done … I will not guarantee that you will never see another ad – but your page should be a little more secure. I will guarantee that you will continue to see Lies and Garbage that you are really not interested in seeing. That is the “nature of the beast.”
Now Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and Founder of Facebook) has recently asked the U. S. Government for more regulation when it comes to social media. Why would he do this? In my argument with my daughter I stated that the public should not have to “Opt Out” when it comes to their privacy and miscellaneous ads that they have no interest in seeing. If the social media and ALL internet sites really had the “customer in mind” than they should force set Privacy and require the customer to “Opt In” if they don’t want the privacy.
This is what Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in his op-ed a couple of days ago …
Every day, platforms like Facebook have to make trade-offs on important social values — between free expression and safety, privacy and law enforcement, and between creating open systems and locking down data.
There is rarely a clear “right” answer. Often it is as important that decisions are made in a way that people feel is legitimate. I don’t think private companies should make so many decisions alone when they touch on fundamental democratic values.
That is why last year I called for regulation in four areas: elections, harmful content, privacy and data portability.
You can read his full op-ed right here. This way I am not breaking copyright laws with the above three paragraphs.
Now some think this will hurt the Facebook’s bottom line in the short-term but help it in the long-term. I am not one of those. I think it can only help it short and long-term. I also think Mr. Zuckerberg wrote this article because he understands it will be years before the Federal Government acts on more regulation … thus he can begin to self-regulate and be instrumental in the final regulation that comes out from the US Government. Remember: “He who has the money makes the rules.”
In 2019 alone Facebook had 1.9 Billion daily users and 2.4 Billion monthly users worldwide. Total 2019 Revenue came in at $70,690,000,000 at a cost of gods sold $12,770,000,000 providing a gross profit of more than $57.9 Billion. Net Income after tax was $18,490,000,000.
Compare these numbers with just four years ago at the end of 2015:
- Revenue only $17.9 Billion
- Cost of good sold only $2.9 Billion
- Gross profit right at $15 Billion
- Net income after taxes $3.4 Billion.
Earnings per share outstanding in 2015 was $1.29 and as of four years later had increased some 398% to $6.43. During this time the number of shares outstanding increased from 2,853,000,000 to 2,876,000,000.
In an article from the street.com, that was written on October 23, 2018 when there were 2.23 Billion Facebook members and 400 new users signing up on the site every minute, we find that Facebook get’s it revenue from 6 different sources ( I actually counted 7 sources stated in the article):
- Facebook Payments. This Facebook business generates money through payments, similar to peer-to-peer payment systems like Venmo.
- Jibbigo. This language translation app, acquired by Facebook in 2013, allows Facebook posts and chats to be translated into multiple languages. The ability for companies to advertise their products in several languages would be a huge attraction in both a digital and global economy.
- Atlas Solutions. Purchased by Facebook in 2013 from Microsoft, (MSFT) – Get Report Atlas enables advertisers to effectively monitor their social media outreach programs.
- Onavo. This mobile utility application aids data performance on mobile devices, and allows companies to track their app’s performance against other apps in the same business category.
- Instagram. Purchased in 2012 for $1 billion, this photo-sharing app boasts 400 million users and is expected to be a huge linchpin for Facebook in the burgeoning photo app digital marketplace. While Instagram hasn’t actually produced much revenue for Facebook before to this year, analysts expect that to change, estimating between $10 billion and $16 billion by the end of 2018.
- Oculus VR. Virtual reality is another technology widely viewed in marketing circles as a great consumer outreach tool. With Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR in 2014, for $2 billion, Facebook now has a foot in the door to VR technology and market, where companies can reach consumers (the video game market is a great example) in ways that marketers could never have imagined even 20 years ago.
- WhatsApp. Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, making it the largest acquisition the company has made in recent years. WhatsApp is a wildly popular instant messaging platform that advertisers would love to crack, given its pervasive use not just in the U.S, but all over the world. Facebook is ramping up a new business model that would charge advertisers a fixed price for engaging with WhatsApp customers.
So, the point is of these 7 sources … 4 of them (in blue type) has to do with advertising. Is it any wonder that Facebook requires you to “Opt Out” and not “Opt In.”
Youtube – By Google – provides you a choice to opt in or out of Ads. If you don’t want ads … all you have to do is pay a monthly fee and the ads will go away.
Now as I said earlier, I am not certain if you “Opt Out” of ads on Facebook if you will stop getting them since they don’t charge a fee to the user and Ads is the primary way they make their money. However, you need to know that I just went to Facebook Privacy Setting and opted out of everything that had to do with Advertisements. We will see if I continue to get ads and I will follow up with you in a week or two as to the end result since I don’t see this happening 100% immediately.
So, would I be willing to pay for a Facebook that does not show me any advertisement … probably so, depending on the amount it would cost. I pay for TV that has no advertisements and also paid for a TEVO that allows me to fast forward through ads when I am forced to watch plain old TV. I wished they would allow fast forward in “On Demand” TV shows and simply charge me a monthly fee for “On-Demand.”
If I were in the US Congress and was working on Regulation for Social Media … I would require that all Social Media Venues require a person to “Opt In” to advertising and increase their cost of the service if they chose to do so.
I could show ads on my own website which is set up through WordPress.com and they suggest I do it all the time. However, I don’t want my readers to be bothered with advertisements from companies that I may or may not believe in. Nor, do I want to charge my readers a monthly fee just so they can read my articles “Ad Free.” However, I am also not trying to make any money with this site – as Facebook and others are.
One more thought … then I will close on my Facebook Rant. You may be able to get away from Ads, I don’t know yet, but you can’t get away from the Lies spread on Facebook by unsavory characters. Facebook does try to reduce some of this by letting people know through fact-checking if the item they shared is true or not. Here’s my question … if they can do that … why can’t they simply delete the article or shared item across all of facebook. For example, if the article or video about Vanessa Bryant committing suicide is wrong … why doesn’t Facebook simply put a system in place to delete it as soon as they find out it is not true … rather than sending out a statement saying it is not true to the person who shared it and not necessarily to the people who may have read it. Once most people see it they are going to believe it. So, why let them see it to begin with.
You may be asking yourself, “If this man hates Facebook so much, why would he own stock in it?”
Here’s your answer:
Over the past several years (this chart goes back to 12/31/2015) Facebook has been in an upward trend except for a brief period in the last half of 2018 (which would have been a great buying opportunity). As a matter of fact while the market is down some 200 points on the Dow Jones Average today (02/18/2020) Facebook is actually up $3.00 per share from it’s last close. Mark Zuckerberg owns about 20% of Facebook or about 375 million shares. This means his net worth increased by about $1.125 Billion today alone. This makes him worth over $70 Billion today, probably still in the top 5 of all Americans. This Forbes 400 article shows he is ranked 4th richest man in America.
Do you really think he cares if I or anyone else is upset with Ads and Lies on Facebook? I think not.
Have a great day and remember to invest in companies that are making money … even if you don’t like them. Your goal in the investment realm is to make money … not to fall in love with the companies that are helping you achieve that goal.
Make some waves – Zuckerberg is …
Jerry Nix | Freewavemaker, LLC.