While I only deleted my Twitter account at the end of last year, it’s been about 12 years since I deleted my Facebook one. As Cory Doctorow points out, it’s a terrible organisation that no-one should work for, and whose products no-one should use.
Even before its stock fell off a cliff, Facebook was mired in a multi-year hiring crisis. Nobody wanted to work for Facebook because it’s a terrible company that makes terrible products that everyone hates and only use because the company has rigged the system to punish users for switching.
Facebook was already paying a wage premium, offering sweeteners to in-demand workers in exchange for checking their consciences at the door. Those sweeteners mostly took the form of shares, which means that all those morally flexible “Metamates” got a hefty pay-cut when the company’s stock price fell off a cliff. Expect a lot of them to leave – and expect the company to have to pay even more to replace them. Companies with falling share prices can’t use share grants to attract workers.
Facebook is now famously trying to pivot (ugh) to virtual reality to save itself. It’s an expensive gambit. It’s going to alienate a lot of its users. It’s going to alienate a lot of its in-demand workers. It’s going to freak out a lot of regulators.
Meanwhile, the switching costs for people who want to jump ship keep getting lower. It’s not merely that fewer and fewer of the people you want to talk with are still on Facebook. Even if there’s someone whose virtual company you can’t bear to part with, lawmakers in the US and Europe are working on legislation that would force Facebook to allow third parties to “federate” new services with it. That would mean that you could quit Facebook and join an upstart rival – say, one by a privacy-respecting nonprofit or even a user-owned co-op – and still exchange messages with the communities, customers and family you left behind on Facebook’s sinking ship.
Source: I’ve been waiting 15 years for Facebook to die. I’m more hopeful than ever | The Guardian
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