Privacy – LLL Issue 1

Last month we launched Lifelong Learning, an email series with a few objectives - connect to the tools and methodology that have been powering Hyper Island, an overview of some of the latest opportunities to learn and also a prompt to the community to come together around, reflect and make sense of a significant development in the world of technology, business and well, life. 

Our first issue turned to Facebook, and notably Mark Zuckerburg’s announcement this past spring around their proposed shift to organize more around privacy as a driving attribute of the service.

Whether as a user of Facebook or marketer trying to reach customers, we asked the community what the change would mean and tried to gain the pulse of the collective around this issue: How does it feel? What do you think? And ultimately what does it mean for behaviour and use moving forward?

We posed the questions around whether people have considered leaving facebook and whether they are concerned about their privacy and how their data is captured and used online.

Taking a look through the date and reflections shared, there are a few key themes that have presented themselves. Below you will find a summary of the results we captured using Mentimeter, a real time audience voting tool.

59% have considered leaving Facebook platform all together while 14% already have. While, 87% shared they are concerned for their privacy over all online.

Facebook still has tremendous reach….

While some shared they are no longer on Facebook, the majority are still users of the platform and its services. Broadening our perspective with Facebook owning apps both Instagram and WhatsApp, it’s a good time to check in on what this means for big tech – antitrust. From Scott Galloway to the FTC there are calls to limit Facebook’s grip on all things digital.

Heightened awareness…

There’s a sophistication of understanding when it comes to data, technology and the reach within this community of readers. People are increasingly aware of how platforms such as Facebook work and how they function to capture our attention and more. As we work with change, we know that awareness is the starting point before taking action. It remains to be seen whether users en masses shift away from Facebook or change their behaviour with it.

A continuous dilemma…

People want the service to work well and many can recognize the upside of what the service and the connection it enables can provide people. Recognizing the power of its reach for both good and bad continues to frustrate its users. What we see in reaction here is in line with some of the greater trends researchers are observing. Check out the results of this study in America from PEW Research Center on people’s feelings and behaviours online.

Is it just PR…

There’s a healthy dose of skepticism from readers over the intention of the proposed shift. Is Facebook leading or responding to demands for a more private world? And is this just more about brand value or a PR play? After all, some readers made points about whether the change is possible with the current business model?

This is more than Facebook….

Some responses touched on the greater potential, that while Facebook being the largest player involved, alongside Google, that it could precede to have a profound impact across the market for the better if they figured this out. Facebook could instigate and lead in a new era of digital communication which brings a change in how data is collected and used.

Making sense of the challenge…

At Hyper Island we still rely upon Facebook. Our community, collaborators and alumni groups still leverage the platform to connect and stay in touch. We have tried other platforms and social networks and the staying power for correspondence seems to remain strongest on Facebook. We also advertise digitally through Facebook and its subsidiaries but also on other digital platforms. It’s important that we take a moment and reflect on these changes for ourselves, as an organization and community.

To read a few more responses direct from the community read on further.
In the meantime, click here to subscribe to LLL (Lifelong Learning) and receive our next issue at the end of the month.

Further responses…

“I think over time the internet should and will radically change. Privacy will start to matter to people. And laws and techniques will come in to play that will change the way we are connected online. We will browse more private in the future.”

“His presentation is full of feel-good buzzwords and nothing of substance. In the same event they announced Facebook Dating and Secret Crush features, which shows how little they are in touch with global concerns re: unhealthy social media use.”

“If business model remains the same, it won’t make a difference.”

“This will make me feel secure about any risk regarding my personal information.”

“No worries. Regardless of the privacy changes and the potential to impact targeted marketing negatively, it will be a level playing field for everyone. Since I’m a sceptic of Facebook, for me, this keynote is pure PR without real concerns to privacy.”

“Looking at designed data driven solutions as a professional, I have question marks regarding how different analytic tools and methods will be affected. What does this mean for the data?

“I like how Facebook is always looking how to bring more value to their users. At least this is how I felt the speech.”