Facebook’s privacy setting now set to “Public”Posted: May 18, 2012
I would be remiss not to post before Facebook’s IPO.
I don’t have a great feeling about it. The closest example that explains how I feel about Facebook’s IPO is this:
My best friend in junior and senior year of high school was really into John Mayer, before he got big. He was still playing in coffee houses and growing his fan base through small online communities.
When “No Such Thing” and “Your Body is a Wonderland” blew up, she was elated for him and his success but sad because she felt that her “little secret” had gotten out. His music was no longer personal to her because now the whole world was being serenaded by his music.
No one would characterize Facebook as their “little secret” but I do.
I’ve followed (snort) Facebook long before Twitter was around, long before all of the colleges had access to it. Long before Facebook was ever considered a legit news story.
I’ve cared about its existence and what that existence means to us, users, for the past 8 years. I’ve been a friend to it, and it a friend of mine, for 8 years. I’m one of its oldest friends.
Now, Facebook is inevitably changing its privacy setting to PUBLIC.
Anyone can subscribe. Facebook will be forced to share.
Everything Facebook does will be scrutinized. Its objectives will change — they have to, to satisfy new owners, who may or may not be its friend, a friend on it. My relationship to it, therefore, will change as well. I won’t have as much say as a user; I won’t be part of their bottom line. It’s difficult to express, but I feel that I am losing a special connection and my little secret.
Wired published an article earlier this year on IPOs and the effect that going public has on the ingenuity and innovation of a company.
Facebook will no longer be as nimble. It will no longer be as fun.
Mark will have to face more pressure and challenges and I hope that he will be able to withstand it.
I think he will but he won’t have an easy time.
I don’t envy him from that position but I will always admire him for what he has accomplished.
I hope he stays clear to his mission statement — “to a more open and connected world” — and remembers always that we the users are the core of this site, this company.
In many ways, the users should all have at least one tangible share in this IPO. We’ve stuck with them for this long, after all.