Cleaning Belfast Articles

Facebook or Chequebook?

Facebook finally floated amid huge interest and hype and shares went on sale at $ 38.00 each. Subscription was huge and rose over $ 16 billion for FB and no doubt enriched Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, to a level of wealth most of us can't quite comprehend. Yet, within 2 weeks the shares have lost around 25% already, and law suits abound.

Facebook is now a fully fledged commercial entity, has to have an eye on profit and shareholder dividends, and is following in the footsteps of Google. When these sites started, commerce wasn't involved, they were a bit left field, a bit alternative, and took on the big boys of their day. We liked them for that, and they were even a bit cool. Now, aren't we looking for the new alternative to Google and Facebook? New sites that stand for what google and FB used to, or is it simply the case that these guys are now so rich and powerful that no newcomer can seriously take them on, without being crushed or bought out.

I don't begrudge them their success, but the change in ethos is a shame, and I do feel they have far too much control over the internet and what we do on it. We need more competition and less dominance from a select few. As a user or consumer, I want to be treated with care and honesty, not used as a number from which information is gleaned for the purpose of targeted advertising campaigns. Whatever the state of share prices today, I think Google and Facebook will continue to return vast profits, at least in the medium term.

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