Oh the cheery, carefree wild bygone days of the beginnings of Social Media. Someday we’ll tell our children about a far away time where one could freely create multiple accounts for various interests. There was no “big brother” watchful all seeing eye. No gestapo demands for identity tracking verification. Competing social media platforms played nicely with each other and didnt cut off user bases and developers. Oh the good ole days….
Well guess what? Social Media isnt young and fresh anymore. Its having to quit freeloading and pay the bills. Investors want startups to grow up, move out the house and get a job on Wall Street. Facebook started like a college frat party, now it has to act like a “stick up your butt” adult businessman and make a buck. Soon it will be lost in the quagmire of unappreciative spouses, bratty kids and long stops at the bar on the way home. Wait, what?
Today its being reported Facebook has started taking down with or without warning cosplay fake accounts. Basically, secondary accounts of people who dress up in costume and have Pseudonym identities. Unfortunately, it appears some users had no warning and lost personal data.
This likely follows the report over the last few weeks that up to 83 million Facebook accounts are fake (Click for link). I’ve been wondering what Facebook was going to do about that, its a little hard to sell Wall Street that you have a billion users with an asterisk for fake accounts. Wall Street and investors dont want fake customers just like it would be inappropriate for any other business to “cook the books.” Facebook now has to bend to the will of being a legitimate business and that means fake accounts must die. Along with it the innocence of the youthful merriment of social media’s adolescence.
Lets look at the big picture. What does this bode for other networks that want to go public? I know Twitter users that have many accounts depending on their interests and businesses. One of the failures of MySpace was being bought out by a mega corporation and then had to start acting like one. As the fun was gone, users left MySpace. Google+ obviously from their very launch saw the truth that all of these networks to be sold properly, have to have legitimate verifiable users.
Even today Twitter added Tumblr to their list of cutoffs from their user base and continues to cut off developers. For years I’ve been telling clients that they should take advantage of Social Media before they start having to pay for it. Now they do: App.net. The flower power age of love and peace in social media is dead. Welcome Social Media 2.0: “Its not personal, its JUST business.”