danish is a dubai-raised artist, speaker, DESIGNER, sailor, father, investor & ENTREPRENEUR. he heads hybrid advisory firm xische & Co.

Its not 'your' Facebook profile. Its Facebook's profile about you.

That's verbatim. According to Time.com, Leif Harmsen and a band of former Facebook users now crusade against the social-networking behemoth. Their contention: privacy.

Facebook as the centre of the new world is starting to shift. And for the record, I don't state this as propaganda for yet another social-mistress Twitter. As a passive member (define active though?) of Facebook, I know a few who have shut their accounts. I'm sure you do too.

According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. So its fairly obvious people are rushing like its a clearance sale on steroids.

But I think a silent exodus has begun. Brand me cynical? Maybe. Is this conspiracy theory? Definitely not.


Here are my Top 3 Reasons why people have left and/or are leaving Facebook:

1 - It's a repressive regime much like North Korea. Discussions on policy are not necessarily even discussions. Corporate regulation governs personal and social data.

2 - Facebook is being viewed as the New Big Brother, competing fiercely with Google. Facebook's business model is clear. It monetizes the information it covets from its users, who incidentally not only publish information willingly, but ensure that it is updated hourly just incase you've missed the activities of the last party.

3 - Then there's the little point of content ownership. Last year, Facebook published mandatory Terms of Use that raised more than a few eyebrows (908,000 eyebrows to be more accurate). Essentially, anything/everything you ever post or read on Facebook is thereafter the property of Facebook. They did amend this ambiguously, but the end result still stands vague.

With Twitter gaining serious momentum, Facebook has undoubtedly initiated counter-measures to stay relevant. One of them was the initial upgrade of Facebook (to the outcry of thousands). Last week, its acquisition of Friendfeed makes the end-game ferociously clear: Simplicity.


Here's why Twitter Seems To Be Growing at an unparalleled fuel-injected rate:

1 - Twitter's microblogging allows users to engage in what is roughly the 'anti-search-engine.'  It redefines how people seek, and publish, information. And most importantly, it does all that in a 140 characters.

2 - In today's age of instant gratification, internetters have the attention span of a hamster. No columned interfaces with complicated apps or needless information. No advertising. Nothing more than what you want to know.

3 - Plus, possibly the greatest strength of Twitter being its position atop the social media food chain. To elaborate: Twitter does not strive to 'embed' content. Far from it, Twitter merely links with a personal byline from a Tweep (a person Tweeting) you trust. You link off. Period.

4 - Following others on Twitter is a straight-forward process. You read an update, along with a scrollable list adorned with avatar icons. Simple. Moreover, there are hundreds of apps, sites and mods that allow creative and niche methods of viewing feeds. People prefer personalization.

I must add as somebody said last week: "Twitter makes an awful first impression!" I agree.

There's no logic of deduction in trying to play off Twitter as a harmless twin of data-mining apparatuses Google or Facebook. But one thing is for certain, Twitter seems to 'purge' tweets from the public domain. Do they really disappear? Highly unlikely. Trend-profiling is perhaps even easier with a sampling on tweets than it is on Facebook's various publishing outlets (walls, messages, comments, apps, pokes).

Bottom line: We are amidst an imminent and inevitable shift. From over-complication to über-simplification and immunization.Whether its MySpace, Linkedin or Delicious, every new user that signs up today equates to one more victim less interested in privacy-invasion and more immune to narcissistic social piracy.

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