“Like” and “Share”

24 Sep

Everyone knows the profits of having Facebook, like finding old friends or making new friends and expanding your network. But Facebook itself also wants to gain profit out of it. On average, people spend 40 minutes on the site, but Facebook wants to increase the time people spend on their site. By using algorithms (a finite set of instructions that will lead to a certain goal starting from a certain position) they show you the exact videos and stories you want to see. They gain this information by looking through your Facebook click history, but also by tracking the websites you’ve visited. fb 2

In 2009, the “Like” and “Share” buttons appeared for the first time. In 2010, developers were allowed to add these buttons to their own websites, apps and blogs. After only 2 years, 25% of the internet had the buttons installed on their site. So, whenever you visit a site that has a “Like” or “Share” button, you can be sure that they’re sending your browsing behavior to Facebook. So, you might think that it’s just a ‘nice thing’ from Facebook to show you what you want to see, actually it’s a strategic method to increase Facebook’s popularity and the time people visit the site. But, the scary part is that, according to an MIT Technology Review report, Facebook is only weeks away from actually using the data it collects.

If you’re using a Mac, iPhone or iPad, you can thank the always-competitive Apple with its response to Facebook. Apple rolled out ‘Content Blockers’, which allows users to install 3rd-party ad-blocking apps that let you block unwanted social widgets by social media sites. This includes blocking social widgets such as Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons. BlockBear and 1Blocker are the blockers who’ve gained popularity since the release of iOs9 last Tuesday. This probably is a strategic move by Apple to step up with Facebook. However, we can thank them for keeping our web browsing experience a secret from Facebook.

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On one hand, I think it’s a good thing form Facebook to follow our social behavior, so when we’re looking for something specific, we can easily find it. This improves the Quality of Life, because it does make life easier. But on the other hand, I can imagine that people think it’s annoying to get advertisements they don’t even want to see. And it’s also kind of creepy that Facebook can track everything you do online. I even think this con is bigger than the pro, so Apple’s ‘Content Blockers’ are a great solution to exclude Facebook from your online activities. The big question that’s left is; when will Facebook block the ‘Content blockers’ and will our information be abused?




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