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posted by takyon on Monday April 16, @08:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the BUY-LOW! dept.

Why You Should Buy Facebook While It's In Crisis (archive)

In spite of the headlines, the hearings, and the hashtags, it does not look like many users are leaving Facebook. A survey conducted by Deutsche Bank concluded that "just 1% of respondents were deactivating or deleting their accounts." If the survey is representative of Facebook's 2 billion users, then 20 million users might leave. This may seem like a big loss, but it means 99% of users are staying.

Doug Clinton, the managing partner of Loup Ventures, estimates that each active user generates about $21 in profits for Facebook each year. The loss of 20 million users would therefore reduce Facebook's earnings by roughly $420 million. Facebook's pretax income last year was $20.5 billion. Does a 2% drop in pretax income justify a 9% loss of market value? I don't think so.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Dr Spin on Monday April 16, @08:05AM (2 children)

    by Dr Spin (5239) on Monday April 16, @08:05AM (#667546)

    1% of Facebook users is probably 50% of the live human users.

    I guess Loup (means Wolf) ventures are holding a bunch of Facebook shares.

    --
    Putting your data in the cloud is like sending your teenage daughter backpacking in a 3rd world country with a pimp
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jcross on Monday April 16, @12:14PM

      by jcross (4009) on Monday April 16, @12:14PM (#667592)

      Also, even live human users can spend variable amounts of time on the site. This guy is acting like someone has to deactivate their account to reduce Facebook's profit, but I assume a user is going to bring in little to nothing if they never show up on the site. Maybe a lot of people are just deciding to use Facebook less or not at all for a while, then later they'll go to the bother of deleting their account, but maybe they'll just forget to. Meanwhile I've heard that more and more of the content is promotional and less and less of it is personal. The market may be pricing in the risk that the whole thing will implode and turn into a sausage party for advertisers.

    • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Monday April 16, @04:51PM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Monday April 16, @04:51PM (#667697)

      > 1% of Facebook users is probably 50% of the live human users.

      Are you counting musical act pages in that assessment?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Monday April 16, @08:07AM

    by Arik (4543) on Monday April 16, @08:07AM (#667547)
    Cause this guy hasn't finished unloading his yet and he thinks it might go back up, dangit!
    --
    "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MostCynical on Monday April 16, @08:15AM (17 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Monday April 16, @08:15AM (#667549)

    invest in a company known for exploitation!
    Invest in a company known for using humans as commodities!

    Ethics and morals are for the weak! They get in the way of profit! Capitalism demands sacrifice, and by golly, this investor is going to sacrifice you!

    Now, go prop up this guy's crap portfolio.

    --
    (Score: tau, Irrational)
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 16, @10:58AM (4 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @10:58AM (#667571) Journal

      It makes a man want to cry, doesn't it? Unfortunately, what you posted is true. Relatively few people understand how their privacy is being invaded, or how they are being exploited. Of those who understand, relatively few really seem to care. If all of us who care were to go out today, and explain as thoroughly as possible to the unenlightened, they still wouldn't care.

      "Bill, you don't seem to understand - to Facebook, you are just one of the cattle. You wilingly give them whatever they ask for, so long as they give you a silly game to play, and you can check up on your wife and kids. You don't understand - Facebook is also checking up on your wife and kids. Facebook sells you to the rich bastards on Wall Street, and you willingly walk into the stall assigned to you. You are hamburger, Bill, a commodity sold on the future's market. You, your wife, your kids, everyone who lives on Facebook."

      And, Bill shrugs me off.

      --
      On the plus side, I am completely immune to flash-bang grenades. - Helen Keller
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday April 16, @11:19AM (3 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @11:19AM (#667577) Journal

        What you're saying is absolutely, completely true. But why is everyone only upset when Facebook treats everyone that way? Why not the NSA, which is definitely invading every corner of everyone's lives? Why not the rest of Wall Street and the government?

        To them, all of us are cattle to be treated exactly like cattle, and they have as much interest in the thoughts and feelings of the populace as they do cattle's.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @01:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @01:38PM (#667616)

          People weren't knowingly handing their information over to the NSA and the NSA doesn't specifically target people that are barely computer literate.

          I think there's a lot of people out there that genuinely didn't understand what FB was doing and thought of it being a lot less harmful than it is. Now, having been caught with some egregious abuses of power that helped erode our political process all those people that had trusted the platform to just serve ads and provide a convenient place to communicate with friends and relatives are feeling hurt and betrayed.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:26PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:26PM (#667637)

          If you've been as deep in the elite circles as you claim to have been, you already know why "everybody" only cares about privacy violations when Facebook does it.

          The military-industrial complex is using its propaganda wing, the media, to twist Facebook's arm. They want to make sure Zuckerfuck knows that he's their bitch. When they're done with Zuckerfuck, he'll know better than to use Facebook's spying capabilities for the benefit of anybody else except the deep state.

          The media isn't news. Their shit doesn't reflect the way people actually feel. The media is just propaganda, using their megaphone and playing a confidence game that we just take it for granted that "everybody" must only care when Facebook is invading our privacy.

          The Media: People just listen to us.
          The Media: We don't know why.
          The Media: They "trust us"
          The Media: Dumb fucks

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:04PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:04PM (#667674)

            exactly, congress and the media just want their cut of the slave profits.

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @11:53AM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @11:53AM (#667587)

      >Invest in a company known for using humans as commodities!

      Is there any other kind of company?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by MostCynical on Monday April 16, @12:02PM (3 children)

        by MostCynical (2589) on Monday April 16, @12:02PM (#667590)

        Profit-equitable-share companies, maybe?

        Worker collectives (again, profit share)?

        Otherwise, companies with 100% automated production.. not that there are any, yet.

        --
        (Score: tau, Irrational)
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @01:48PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @01:48PM (#667621)

          Not-for-profits, yes... how many of those are publicly traded as investments?

          Worker collectives - a nice hybrid, I keep my money in a credit union and it does (mostly) serve its members, again operating with a not-for-profit charter. These kinds of organizations borrow a lot of structure from the for-profit companies they replace, but, again, aren't an investment for growth of capital.

          Companies with 100% automated production - I think you're missing my point here. If the company is for-profit, then the customers are the commodity. In a sense, Facebook is this already - virtual product, with the consumers as the value basis of the company. Same goes for restaurants, retail, leased real-estate, medical, etc. People are the value-basis of all these companies, without customers/consumers/patients the companies have no purpose and no profit.

          • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Monday April 16, @07:31PM (1 child)

            by Osamabobama (5842) on Monday April 16, @07:31PM (#667764)

            So you are saying that companies make money from people? I'm not sure if you are trying to explain a business model, or define 'business model'. If all the business types you list fit into one category, that category doesn't do much to illuminate your point.

            Obviously, customers are the source of revenues. Maybe less obvious is that labor is the most significant source of value sold by a company. But I suppose it's people on both ends, so they are commodities. It's an interesting model; is it useful?

            --
            Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @07:45PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @07:45PM (#667770)

              Invest in a company known for using humans as commodities!

              Is there any other type of company?

              So, from your observation:

              Obviously, customers are the source of revenues. Maybe less obvious is that labor is the most significant source of value sold by a company. But I suppose it's people on both ends, so they are commodities. It's an interesting model; is it useful?

              No. And, I would agree. The thing that somewhat separates Facebook from most others is that the human commodities neither realize that they are "working" for Facebook, nor directly pay Facebook for anything - so it's more of a 2B people-value in the middle, with thin slices on the paid labor and paying customer sides.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @12:18PM (6 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 16, @12:18PM (#667594) Homepage

      invest in a company known for exploitation!

      Umm, can you find a publicly traded company not known for exploitation? Exploitation is what companies do: Exploiting the environment (and thus the people that live near them), exploiting their employees (by underpaying them), exploiting their customers (by overcharging them, often by trickery), exploiting the government (via bribery) ...

      If you don't know how the company you're a shareholder of is exploitative, that's almost definitely because you haven't thought about it.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 16, @12:56PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @12:56PM (#667604) Journal
        Exploitation isn't really that big a deal in the first place. I bought some red pens from Staples the other day. I exploited Staples by underpaying for those red pens and they exploited me by overcharging for the same. That's what any voluntary trade is about in the first place - mutual exploitation for mutual gain.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Bobs on Monday April 16, @01:18PM (4 children)

        by Bobs (1462) on Monday April 16, @01:18PM (#667612)

        can you find a publicly traded company not known for exploitation?

        FYI: A 'good' company example is Costco.

        Highlights:

        • Costco doesn't mark up any item more than 15 percent. Membership fees give it some financial freedom to keep prices low, along with its tough negotiations with vendors.

        • Costco doesn't mark up its executive pay by much, either. CEO Craig Jelinek earned $5.4 million in compensation in 2013, compared to $26 million that year for Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon.

        • They

          "understand that doing good business can and should be based on treating workers with respect. They understand that prosperity is based on a strong middle class and a strong middle class is only possible if workers are appropriately well-paid."

          From http://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/costco-understands-its-role-as-a-good-corporate-citizen/ [heraldnet.com]

          "Costco pays hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, Businessweek reports. That compares to $12.67 an hour for Walmart. And about 88 percent of Costco employees have health insurance from the company.

          "I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits," Jelinek told the magazine. "It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It's really that simple."

          About 15 percent of employees are unionized, but you don't see the same type of battles that other companies have with unions. "They are philosophically much better than anyone else I have worked with," a Teamsters executive tells Businessweek."

          - https://www.cbsnews.com/media/12-things-about-costco-that-may-surprise-you/5/ [cbsnews.com]

        More on Costco
        - https://www.fastcompany.com/1042487/ceo-interview-costcos-jim-sinegal [fastcompany.com]

        Nobody is perfect, but Costco is quite good.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @04:48PM (2 children)

          by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 16, @04:48PM (#667692) Homepage

          Costco's exploitation is right there in what you quoted:

          its tough negotiations with vendors

          So, in essence, Costco is using its market position to exploit its vendors. Which has further consequences along the supply chain, and of course to employees of those vendors.

          I should mention that most companies will swear up and down that they aren't being exploitative, and spend various amounts of marketing and public relations dollars on getting that message out to the press. They're generally lying when they do that, and the way you know they're lying is that their shareholders would never put up with it if they weren't.

          --
          A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bobs on Monday April 16, @06:00PM

            by Bobs (1462) on Monday April 16, @06:00PM (#667729)

            FYI: "Exploit" isn't necessarily a pejorative.

            Costco makes most of its profits from the member's annual membership fees, not from price gouging.

            Since Costco forces itself to limit the margin it charges on products (15%, see above), driving vendors to reduce prices reduces Costco's revenues. So vendor their supplier charges less, Costco charges less. The emphasis is on providing quality products, not on cheap/shoddy ones with an outrageous markup.

            FYI: People in Hawaii love Costco, because they charge the same prices there as on the mainland, not adding in huge markups for shipping like other vendors.

            And nobody is forced to sell to Costco.

          • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Monday April 16, @08:03PM

            by darkfeline (1030) on Monday April 16, @08:03PM (#667775) Homepage

            God forbid businessmen negotiate business. Everyone knows that the modern business negotiation involves a 10% cut for both parties right before a trip to the golf course, marked off as a business expense.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Monday April 16, @05:16PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Monday April 16, @05:16PM (#667709)

          > Costco doesn't mark up its executive pay by much, either. CEO Craig Jelinek earned $5.4 million in compensation in 2013

          In the early 2000s, I worked for a $3B company, worth well over $20B, and the CEO was paid under $300k. Sure he owned almost 10% of the stock, so he didn't need it, but that meant that the whole C-suite, who were barely stock-millionaires, was also paid in the 200k range.
          Oddly, they didn't have any issues filling positions despite those low low wages.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by SacredSalt on Monday April 16, @09:40AM (3 children)

    by SacredSalt (2772) on Monday April 16, @09:40AM (#667559)

    As soon as I find a different job, I'm deleting all social media accounts. I might even turn my cell phone into a skeet target as my last post (it allegedly takes a few days before they delete your stuff). I'm tired of the notifications, people thinking I can always respond to XYZ at any hour or while I'm traveling out to events or at them working. It drives me a little crazy with all of it, and all of the bickering over stuff that goes on there. Its just too much discontent for me. I figure I can get back enough time to get my guitar skills back close to SRV if I just use that time to practice. I could probably build on a new edition to the house if I used it exclusively for that over the course of 7 months or so.

    I just don't feel like facebook is adding much to my life.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday April 16, @11:23AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @11:23AM (#667578) Journal

      It doesn't. There was a faint flicker of novelty to hear from the kid I went to the third grade with and haven't seen since, but I don't talk to him because we have nothing else in common.

      So hearing from them about their lives is interesting for social scientists who might be sitting on top of all that data and watching patterns evolve in response to events, but it has no real value for the rest of us.

      Yours is the right move. Make real connections with real people in the real world. (Social science says that's about 120 people, but that's always been fine throughout human history.) Use your time to do what you want to do, not to cavil about others thrice removed.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Monday April 16, @01:17PM

      by inertnet (4071) on Monday April 16, @01:17PM (#667608)

      I just don't feel like facebook is adding much to my life.

      On the contrary, it's using time out of your life. Just add those hours up and see how many years of wasted life that amounts to.

    • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Monday April 16, @09:41PM

      by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday April 16, @09:41PM (#667812) Journal

      Don't make me pull this web forum over and reach back there and slap the shit out of you :)
      Facebook stop touching your sister...

      --
      For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:41AM (#667560)

    At my former employer, Deplorable Corporation, we had a training module on how to deal with customer complains. The motto was, "Don't just handle the problem, own the problem." Now you can do exactly this by purchasing FascisBook stock! Of course, we jaded, cynical, and sabotagically inclined mere employed added, "Don't just own the problem, be the problem!" Which also you can do by buying Facebork stock. I mean, seriously, since the IPO, has there been any serious audit that shows how this company makes money? I mean, other than Russian election influencing payments?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by legont on Monday April 16, @09:56AM (7 children)

    by legont (4179) on Monday April 16, @09:56AM (#667562)

    Under 1% of the population makes most salt kosher. When overall user base does not care much, a tiny dedicated minority can easily change the outcome.

    Kill facebook.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @01:59PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @01:59PM (#667625)

      The delta from non kosher to kosher salt is very small, easily accommodated with negligible impact to profits.

      The delta from the current to a non reprehensible Facebook would destroy the majority of value in the company, the bulk of the value is directly derived from the reprehensible practices - and the value is so high because those reprehensible practices were mostly not possible/practical before platforms like Facebook existed.

      Picture a door-to-door Facebook: Somebody rings the bell, and you sit down together and first look at copies of a bunch of personal stuff from people you may or may not know (copies that you get to keep,) then you make a page with your personal information, photographs, etc. That person then walks out the door with your personal stuff and with a wink and a nod implies a promise to not share it except with the people you want to share it with. It's all free, they make the copies for you.

      Nobody I knew in 1976 would have signed up for something like that (unless they were willfully foolish and/or desperate) - too good to be true, they must be screwing you somehow.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:36PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:36PM (#667832)

        Picture a door-to-door Facebook: Somebody rings the bell, and you sit down together and first look at copies of a bunch of personal stuff from people you may or may not know (copies that you get to keep,) then you make a page with your personal information, photographs, etc. That person then walks out the door with your personal stuff and with a wink and a nod implies a promise to not share it except with the people you want to share it with. It's all free, they make the copies for you.

        Nobody I knew in 1976 would have signed up for something like that (unless they were willfully foolish and/or desperate) - too good to be true, they must be screwing you somehow.

        I think this is a good point, but I think a major difference is that if a non-computer-assisted human is walking around doing that people understand much better what is actually going on. The fact that opening up the Signal app [wikipedia.org], selecting a friend to send message to, typing some text, and tapping the send button is a completely different interaction than doing the exact same thing but in the Facebook Messenger app instead is very difficult for non-technical users to grasp or even be aware of. Both seem like they should be similar to the physical world activity of putting a letter in an envelope and handing it off to the postal service, an activity where privacy is not only assumed but strongly guaranteed by law (at least in the US). And an activity that I gather people in 1976 engaged in regularly.

        The software marketed at normal users is aggressively designed to make it easy to give away private information while making it very unclear who that information will actually be accessible to.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by legont on Tuesday April 17, @03:22AM

          by legont (4179) on Tuesday April 17, @03:22AM (#667932)

          In fact at the office I have a required semiannual training dedicated to how to protect the reputation of the company while using social media. It boils down to "if you write anything without an explicit permission of our attorneys your will be fired".

          Why a private citizen shall behave differently? Is her reputation somehow less valuable to her?

          BTW, could anybody leak facebook's code of conduct? I mean what can facebook employees write on their facebook pages. This would be a perfect training material for any facebook user.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by lentilla on Monday April 16, @09:53PM (2 children)

      by lentilla (1770) on Monday April 16, @09:53PM (#667819)

      Nitpick alert!

      "Kosher Salt" is named as such because it can be used in the process of kashering meat (in simplistic terms: removing the blood). The salt itself isn't special. So just like you might head down to the local Indian grocery if you want to buy reasonably-priced turmeric, you'd head down to the local Jewish grocery if you wanted reasonably-priced coarse-grained salt. Hence it achieved it's moniker of "kosher salt".

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Tuesday April 17, @03:27AM (1 child)

        by legont (4179) on Tuesday April 17, @03:27AM (#667935)

        Kosher salt as any kosher food has a sign - U in a circle - which usually means that a Rabi gave a permission. Most brands of common salt have it.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by lentilla on Tuesday April 17, @07:02AM

          by lentilla (1770) on Tuesday April 17, @07:02AM (#667962)

          I am concerned that an invalid conclusion may have been reached through an application of false equivalence. I state (as above) that: 1) "kosher salt" has come about its name due to its use in kashering; 2) "kosher salt" is refers to a coarse salt, and those names are used interchangeably in cookbooks; 3) "kosher salt" may (or may not) have a kosher certification, but; 4) salt itself is parve ("neutral") according to kashrut (Jewish dietary law).

          Basically, you have to do something pretty wacky to salt that it becomes non-kosher. Oyster-flavoured salt would do it, for example. But salt; just plain salt; is parve.

          So to wrap it up without boring everyone further: "kosher salt" describes a type of salt (the grain size); and salt (fine table salt, a block of salt, whatever) may; additionally; hold a kosher certification.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday April 17, @07:15PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday April 17, @07:15PM (#668254)

      Nitpicker above aside, which has a point but misses yours utterly....

      A tiny dedicated minority can easily change an outcome when it is in the outcome maker's interest to do so. Kosher certification of a product.... if it can justify more in sales than it costs to obtain the certification, that's sound business sense. A minority is getting something because it costs them less to do so (or profits them more.) A company might do so anyway, but there is usually a motivation (or you'd see a lot more kosher-certifications than you currently do).

      The only way Facebook will be persuaded is by legislation or taking pre-emptive measures to forestall legislation that would hurt their pocketbook more than the costs of non-compliance. If Facebook weren't afraid of more draconian regulation they most likely would have shrugged this off with lip service. They still may, if Zuckerberg did his job correctly with Congress.... looks like he's in a prime position to execute some regulatory capture.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday April 16, @10:31AM (3 children)

    Facebook's pre-dive price had the assumption of growth built in to it. Showing an actual loss means the stock valuation needs to correct both for that loss and for the lack of growth.

    --
    My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:16PM (#667741)

      What it *needs* is a good bonfire.

      Except for the hardware, I think we can re-purpose that stuff >:)

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 16, @06:18PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @06:18PM (#667742) Journal
      It's the Lament of the Longs.
    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday April 26, @03:23PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 26, @03:23PM (#672180) Homepage Journal

      Maybe they lost people, they didn't lose money. TREMENDOUS earnings report out today, earnings up 63% from last year. Great job!

      --
      Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
  • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Monday April 16, @09:36PM

    by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday April 16, @09:36PM (#667810) Journal

    It doesn't matter whether people are leaving because of privacy issues or not. When your grandma is on the same social networking site as you it becomes de facto uncool. The next generation will choose something else just to rebel from their parents social world, the same way they will evolve new slang so that no one else will be able to understand them in casual conversation.

    --
    For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
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