At least from the perspective of an internet marketing company, the latest developments in the Facebook data scandal constitute the biggest story of the past week. It creates fertile ground for speculation about the long-term impact that it will have on both advertisers and users.
I don’t claim to have particularly authoritative insight into that question, but I think it’s worth emphasizing how important it is for an internet marketing company to continue monitoring the situation while remaining prepared to adjust its tactics as needed.
There is ongoing debate over whether advertisers will flee from Facebook as a result of users’ changing attitudes toward that platform. And while I agree that they will not do so as long as their advertisements continue to work, I also recognize that what works over the short term doesn’t necessarily work in perpetuity.
For some people, it is hard to imagine an internet in which Facebook is not a dominant force. But an internet marketing company in the early 2000s would have been gambling on the platform if it focused its attention there, to the exclusion of the now-outmoded MySpace.
This is not to say that there is a competing social network that is waiting in the wings to dislodge Facebook overnight. But different demographics focus their attention on different platforms, and attentions could gradually shift away from Facebook in coming years if public attitudes, particularly among young consumers, begin to view the reigning king of social media as overly intrusive or lacking in security.