Web Search: We become meta when we search. When Facebook first developed PageRank to rank Web pages, we became meta. When the algorithm changed, we became meta. The fact is that we now search for what we want on the Internet, or browse the Facebook News Feed. PageRank and News Feed may be the simplest ways to understand how we change our behavior.
You can become meta again with search, when we search for what we want. But I am also sure Facebook started meta with search too. There was a deep dive.
You cannot get meta on Facebook if you have not given Facebook permission to use your information, even if Facebook said it didn’t want to. You cannot get meta if you are not a member of Facebook.
But you can also become meta if you willingly allow a very large, impersonal information provider to keep using your information, even though the information is not used for anything.
Facebook collected information on you, even when you had never read a post or checked a box on your account.
Consumers never asked for permission. Facebook was just too powerful in making choices for us. We let ourselves become meta, and Facebook exploited our desires.
Finally Facebook (bad) and the American people (good) were caught out.
A truly motivated user is able to use an agent like Facebook and call it BDM (Business Marketing de Confianza) – Business Marketing is Marketing for Dummies. Consumers can figure out where to go to maximize their marketing results.
This is of course possible. You can use tools like Clarivate Analytics to find your data needs and efficiently find services to fulfill them.
But at the same time, Clarivate Analytics was able to tap into the (bad) power of Facebook, and sell the consumer’s data to other interested parties.
Want evidence? Clarivate Analytics produced research on Web Search, which was published in BusinessWeek in 2015.
The results were strong.
PageRank was something that Facebook did for the benefit of users – or at least its own shareholders and advertisers. PageRank also benefited its competitors, especially Google.
Facebook’s strategy was to help its own inversely related interests (as these would find themselves encumbered, faced with having their own pages ranked, or blocked, by PageRank) – some kind of tipping point.
The future of business marketing appears to be in an exchange, and everyone wins (provided everyone knows and understands what is and isn’t a win).
So let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that Facebook actually thinks people are clicking on pages on the right-hand side of their own Facebook site to see how many Likes a page has. If that’s true, does that mean Facebook is taking the advantage of us, and our natural tendency, to become meta?
The answer, from the higher-ups, is more likely no.
Other ad formats on Facebook don’t only provide more value to users, the benefits of which accrue to Facebook as well.
The most immediate benefit of page views is in ROI (Return on Investment). Social marketing and engagement metrics (like this graphic from a recent headline story) help advertisers make good use of Facebook and other platforms to more effectively and efficiently acquire and communicate with their customers.
But what about users? They’ve been down this road, and it’s gone sideways.
How to Travel Down a Path with Facebook’s Audience?
In order to get to the bottom of this, I have argued that we need to make the Internet a true experience.
My proposal is that we need a universal Internet certificate – we need to move this back, and ask ourselves how the “social” experience that users are supposedly signing up for will work with the likes of Google or Microsoft, or any of the Big 6, who’ve seen the value of having the most sophisticated tool used by advertisers and marketers.
As I argued in this piece for B2M (Business-to-Mater), the key challenge for those who engage with the Internet will be in ensuring that the highest value, highest quality experience will be possible at the end user’s door.
The trend toward business sharing does drive awareness of these issues, and the value of having smart and innovative teams that are looking at the business and user problems intelligently.
There’s another way to look at that.
When Facebook first built their business model of moving advertising in front of users, as part of its moving mission, this was just the beginning. For more than 10 years, Facebook was just building the widget you use on Google and Facebook.
As Google began figuring out ways to extract value from search, you started using Google