Sharing is not giving: Facebook's IPO and the world we'll live in

Laurent Francois Co-founder & exec. creative strategist, RE-UP

Posted on May 15th 2012

Sharing is not giving: Facebook's IPO and the world we'll live in

Beverly Macy, Co-Founder & CEO, Gravity Summit, has just published a bright colum for Huff Post: a Shared World:

"Facebook's IPO is this week. For better or for worse, social media has created a shared world. Everything that everyone does is increasingly online and mobile and shareable by all. In real-time.

That is both the good news and the bad news. Everyone has a voice, but it's getting really noisy out there. Too much head-spinning information creates a blur. The risk is we have more information but actually know less."

And this is true: it's now more complicated than ever to "hide" from the digital machina. If Social Media Fatigue there is, it's not because there are too much resources we're not able to process. It'd be an optimistic vision: do you read entirely a library? If not, do you feel oppressed?

There's a kind of fatigue because there's an infringement in our mind.

That's something risky for our democracies; until now, the deal was simple. We would all accept a very near Social Graph, because our individual benefits were immediate on our social feeds. I like John status, John's friends (even those I don't know) started a conversation, and it was all fun. The very first guidelines in 2006, when it came to bloggers' outreach were easy: is a digital influencer open or not to a marketing approach? It was authentic, very direct. It was someone talking to someone else. It was a PR age.

Sharing was fun because we could master it. There was a proximity between we users and social activities we were generating. And here came the Open Graph (Open for who?), as Facebook explains:

"The Open Graph allows apps to model user activities based on actions and objects (...). As users interact with your app, actions are displayed on the users’ Timeline and their friends’ News Feeds and Tickers. With the Open Graph, you’ll be able to create a deep, persistent connection between you and your users, and drive new users to your app."

In this world of APIs, it's no longer users who consciously share who shape their own experience. Amounts of users become profiles for marketers, brands, and developpers, who then transform the original conversations of people. We no longer share with our friends: we give up our data, and our right to serendipity, as our next steps in social experience are more and more controlled and forecast. The "filter bubble" does (Eli Pariser) not only reduce our knowledge, but it also makes our digital journey shorter.

There's an on-going war between Apple OS, Google Android and Microsoft. When you look at this Gizmodo map, it's the exact opposite of an open, widening world: it's a 2D map, in which Facebook decided to play the third one: the global go-between we and these 3 companies.



I sadly miss this time in which we were happy to launch our first Wordpress. In which we first thought about the economics and the end users, not the next IPO. Ha. And in this map, there's no Asia. Mind the Social Gap.



Laurent Francois

Co-founder & exec. creative strategist, RE-UP

Laurent runs a creative & digital agency in London, RE-UP.

RE-UP develops strong social media strategies for clients like L'Oréal, Clarins, or Nestlé but also for start-ups in the tech industry. 

Laurent also teaches Digital Marketing & Strategy in diverse business schools (ESCP Europe, ECS etc.).

Laurent was the first head of 360° Digital Influence in Europe (now Social @ Ogilvy), operating for clients like Lenovo, Vodafone, Tom of Finland or French government. He then created a business unit dedicated to social media revenue in one of the main media groups in France.

Laurent blogs on fashion on Hit Bag and Le Boulevardier

See Full Profile >