Today it was announced that Facebook has purchased WhatApp for $19 billion. While I completely understand why this was a good strategic purchase for Facebook on many fronts, this is yet another defeat for those of you who have online businesses that rely on being independent of Facebook’s rather strict, non adult policies.
WhatApp is a nice, fast, smooth running alternative for chatting on mobile. It has a huge user base and much of it is comprised of users who DON’T want to be part of Facebook’s restrictive adult policies. It was the rebel and now, like many, it sold out.
Sadly, more and more these days, tech is starting to feel like a Walmart. The second an innovative platform pops up that offers value, it is snapped up by one of the big 5 tech companies (Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon) and get’s munged into new platforms and new restrictive policies that completely ruin the ecosystem that made the platform enjoyable and useful in the first place.
A Warning for the Future. Build your Platform NOW!
If you follow my blog posts, newsletters and courses, you’ll know that I keep referencing a book called Who Owns The Future by Jaron Lanier. I can’t stress to you enough why you should read this and start to get a grasp on where the world of tech and business is going. The book may journey off into the metaphysical at times, but his opinions of the future are very real and possible.
I work in tech and strategic marketing. I deal with platforms, social media, mobile technology and big data for major corporations and organizations and I am arms deep in it every day. I can tell you from personal experience that, based on what I have seen and have built, the world IS going to the places described in the book.
As a result, I also can’t stress enough to you how imperative it is for you to build your platforms NOW and start getting control of your ability to freely communicate to your customers.
Build your blog, build your mailing lists, nurture a relationship with your customers (whatever that is for you) so that you provide value that can exist independently of any external platform, should and when it gets gobbled up by the mega corps.
What Walmart and Amazon did to destroy the mom and pop stores and businesses in your local towns and cities is very rapidly happening to online e-businesses and entrepreneurs, and before you know it, you will eventually be totally reliant on living within the rules, regulation, policies and restrictions of these mega platforms.
Don’t let this happen. Stay alert. stay educated and take proactive steps to secure your customer communication.