There is a significant number of my friends who are saying Facebook doesn’t bring enough value and are deleting their Facebook profiles or considering deleting them. I don’t know why particularly French people seem to be reacting like that.
Two main reasons behind that radical move for them, it is because their consider Facebook does not add enough value for them or for Facebook becoming less and less a private place.
It’s indeed amazing how the evolution of privacy on Facebook has been dramatic and despite Scoble saying that it doesn’t matter and Facebook should even be more open, I still know many people who really care about privacy. Starting with my kids, my 14 years old son would hate anyone except his friends to be able to read his feed. Actually he would hate his dad to be able to read it and unfriended me a long time ago, I believe Scoble is making the classic mistake of thinking that he is representative of the typical Facebook user while he is clearly not, there are no other living human beings behaving like Scoble. In fact, a social network following Robert’s advice would be certain to reach a 100% market share of… one user, Scoble himself
Back to the original question, would you delete your Facebook account?
Here is why I won’t: I am not a typical Facebook user either, I am using it almost exclusively to publish public updates and it’s been doing very well for me, in fact the latest Facebook changes have boosted my Facebook page which passed 7.500 “likes” since it’s easier to find and probably appears in more profiles and searches. The change from “fan” to “like” is also very wise since many people want to “follow” you but would clearly not define themselves as “fans of yours”.
Some Facebook page updates I post get more than 10,000 impressions according to the Facebook insights and that’s often more than what I get on a post on this blog, so there is a lot of value in that public page for me.
I have never posted anything really private to my friends on Facebook, but I started manually adding only people I really know on my private profile and restricted its privacy to the maximum (at least I think) to be able to share more personal stuff with them. The reality is while I have done that, I still don’t share anything personal and not sure if I will. I probably understand too well that anything supposedly private and personal isn’t and can be very easily shared by any of your close friends, which is the purpose of Facebook.
Facebook is definitely going to be more and more open and I agree with Scoble on this one, it’s a good move, AOL and Compuserve closed models vanished 10 years ago being closed so opening is exactly what Facebook should be doing. It’s all about adjusting your expectations to the inevitable public nature of anything you post online pretty much anywhere. Thinking it was private was the mistake, and I am telling my son about that, he can meet or call his friends for real private sharing.
As far as deleting Facebook accounts, I think it’s not very wise since public profiles are very useful way of communicating, just change what you’re sharing and stop assuming your boss can’t read it.