Common thinking is recent years has been the obvious. To Facebook and Google you are a user, not a customer, therefore, you’re part of the product. Facebook says no. Alfred Ng explains:
Facebook is confronting the adage, “If you don’t pay for it, you’re the product.”
That’s it in a nutshell. What does Facebook say? VP Rob Goldman:
No. Our product is social media — the ability to connect with the people that matter to you, wherever they are in the world.
Facebook lies. Their product is advertising. They use data taken from users to create a system which sells advertising. If you use Facebook, you’re part of their product. If you don’t use Facebook, the company still follows you around the web, still gathers information about you, and still sells it advertisers.
You’re part of the product.