The Proprietary Ties that Bind: Part I — Instagram, not the last straw

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was an article about people getting angry over changes to Instagram’s privacy policies under Facebook rule. Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group was quoted as saying

There are always Facebook users who say ‘This is the last straw,’ [but] there’s not a lot of portability. Where would you go?”

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Putting a price on friending

When Giovanna was offered a job at Facebook several months ago, we attempted to figure out what her compensation looked like relative to her other job offerings, just out of curiosity. Since unvested stocks were in the offering, I started looking at Facebook’s proposed IPO pricing. I discovered they had pegged the offering at an estimated market capitalization of around $80B (I avoid to use the word “value” here as I do the word “friends” in reference to said company) and was surprised that a company could reach that kind of valuation so quickly. This meant number crunching time.
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Status update: You read it here first

This time, at least it’s an opt-in process. Unlike with Beacon, automatic face-tagging, location tracking, profiles being exposed to search engines, giving Facebook’s partners access to personal details, and so forth, this time, Facebook gives users a chance to say “Sure, you can track/reveal these details about me” rather than assuming you want to share unless you say otherwise. Or, rather, at least Facebook’s business partners are giving you that choice, even if the thing you’re giving consent to is obscured. Continue reading “Status update: You read it here first”