Don't #DeleteFacebook Yet
With the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many people are deleting their Facebook accounts. Most notably, Elon Musk (founder of Tesla and Space X) deleted his company profiles. Here's why you probably shouldn't delete your profile just yet.
The tide is beginning to turn. It was inevitable but certainly predictable. Facebook is becoming less popular and the Cambridge Analytica problem is only adding fuel to the fire. Mark Zuckerberg was called up to Capital Hill to answer questions related to user privacy and what steps he was taking to ensure this doesn't happen again.
In protest, many people and some major companies began to delete their Facebook accounts. #DeleteFacebook began to trend online and a negative spotlight was shined on the social media giant. While user privacy is more important than ever, trust is still the foundation to all business. If a customer can't trust you or your brand, you're dead in the water. Facebook forgot that.
While user privacy is more important than ever today, trust is still the foundation to all business
Major companies, like Space X or Tesla, can get away with deleting their Facebook pages. These brands are now household names and are recognized globally. But if you're a small business or a startup, then you're going to want to hold off on deleting your Facebook account.
While Facebook has made some serious privacy missteps (again), it is still king.
Facebook is Still King
Having an active social media presence is crucial for your business. While some platforms might work differently for different brands, you definitely need a Facebook page. Let the numbers speak for themselves:
- Facebook has more active users than any other platform - 2.13 billion per month
- 68 percent of US adults use Facebook, compared to just 28 percent on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook)
- 77 percent of US adults who use Facebook have some college education
- Facebook allows you to access a large international market. Only 11.5 percent of users are in the US and Canada Over 300 million users are in Europe and over 700 million users are in Asia-Pacific countries.
While Facebook took a popularity hit recently, the active number of users still make it a necessary component in almost any communication strategy. You want to connect your brand to more users? The answer is simple: have a Facebook page.
Having an Active Social Media Presence is Crucial for your Business
So, what is Facebook doing to address your privacy concerns? Earlier this month, Facebook announced it was making its terms and data policy "clearer." For example, they will not sell your personal data to advertisers and it will be easier to report harmful posts. It's a step in the right direction, but the road to regulation is all but certain.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal is just another mistake in a series of privacy mistakes that Zuckerberg has admitted to. The silver lining in this recent "screw up" is that Congress is beginning to take a serious look at the fallout. 85 million users had their privacy shared without their knowledge. While Facebook's mission is to "bring the world closer," they shouldn't go about it by abandoning privacy for profits.
While Facebook's Mission is to "Bring the World Closer," They Shouldn't Go About it by Abandoning Privacy for Profits.
There are steps you can take to check to see if your profile information was shared to Cambridge Analytica. If you haven't already been contacted by Facebook, click this link to check your profile.
You can also do a privacy checkup by clicking the help icon at the top right of your news feed and clicking 'privacy checkup.' This tool allows you to see what is shared with your network, what apps have access to your profile and what contact information you share with Facebook.
So, Should you Delete Facebook?
Unless you're Elon Musk or some huge multinational corporation, then no. It is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with fans and new audiences from around the world.
Users have every right to be mad at Facebook and governments should keep holding the company accountable. There are only so many times your can "apologize" for making the same mistake. Unfortunately, there is no successful alternative to Facebook. Until one comes along, you'll have to continue to be aware of what you share.