How does Apple make a profit? The old fashioned way. Apple sells hardware. You buy Apple hardware. Apple makes a profit. Sure, Services is Apple’s fastest growing revenue and profit center, but even that is based upon hardware sales.
How do Facebook and Google make money? Advertising. What is their product? For Facebook, it’s self generated content, whereby you and I, the users, generate the content that Facebook needs to attract users and to sell advertising. For Google, it’s data; information captured from you when you search online, visit various websites, view or click on advertising.
Facebook and Google are advertising companies. That’s where the revenue and profits come from, but both also collect immense volumes of data from users. Since both companies are crazy profitable based upon their users and not based upon actual product sales, I have a theory.
Facebook and Google should pay us to use their services. The more we use, the more we should get paid. It’s only fair, right?
As a user– and not as a customer– we are part of the product. Apple pays Samsung for iPhone displays because they are part of the product. Apple pays chip manufacturers because chips are part of the product.
Why should Facebook and Google pay their users? After all, as a user, you and I are part of Facebook and Google’s product, right?
Of the two, Facebook may be the worst offender because it demands that users generate data and produce the company’s content. We create all those photos and videos and posts and links to friends, family, co-workers, and others– and what do we get in return?
What we write, post, share, and put up on Facebook– from articles to photos to videos to links to everything, including likes and shared links, becomes part of Facebook’s products. Data and content. And it all comes from us.
Facebook stalks users but doesn’t pay for the privilege.
Google isn’t much different though the methodology isn’t quite the same. We are tracked by Google as we browse the web and use various applications. Apps? Surprisingly, many Mac, iPhone, and iPad apps use Google analytics to track usage. And users. Google can track our movements online, too, gathers that data and sells it to advertisers. What do we get in return?
Wherever we travel online we are being stalked by Google. Whatever we do while on Facebook we generate data and content. Both companies prosper while we users have our privacy violated and used against us with advertising and information designed to manipulate us.
I like this idea.