Mark Higginson

How attention flows on the web


02 August 2012

Platforms are judged by the value generated by their ecosystem, not by the value the platforms directly capture.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg

“I believe that future social platforms will behave more like infrastructure, and less like media companies. I believe that a number of smaller, interoperable social platforms with a clear, sustainable business models will usurp you. These future companies will be valued at a small fraction of what Facebook and Twitter currently are.”

Great observation. I can’t tell what Facebook is spending money on from the perspective of innovating on behalf of its users. It all depends on whether you defne a ‘user’ as someone who inputs their personal data into the platform or whether the real ‘users’ are the advertisers.

Same goes for Twitter. Seeking profit for shareholders appears to degrade the user experience as platforms implement the same advertising models.

Calling this an ‘ecosystem’ is appropriate in unintended ways: something is preyed upon in order to benefit something higher up the online food chain.

The ‘value’ of these platforms is entirely notional. Annoy enough people who have somewhere else to go and this value is completely destroyed.

Let me know what you think on Twitter