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Technology & Innovation

Guy Kawasaki: Facebook Should Be Wary of Losing Its Users’ Trust

The former Chief Evangelist steps into Mark Zuckerberg's shoes and explains that if he were CEO of Facebook he would make sure not to alienate users by debasing their social media experience.

Former Apple Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki recently co-authored a book titled The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. So when we asked him what he would do if he could walk in Mark Zuckerberg’s shoes for a day, we were expecting a very academic answer. Instead we got:

“If I were Mark Zuckerberg for a day, first I would buy more hoodies in different colors.”

Of course, Kawasaki gave a thorough and thought-out answer to the question right after. You can watch it for yourself below:

Kawasaki makes sure to mention that everything he says is based on an outsider's perspective. He doesn't have access to the algorithm and isn't privy to the intricacies of Facebook's business plan. Still, he brings up several interesting points. First, Kawasaki supports how Facebook has found ways to make loads of money through paid promotion:

"I would discuss with my senior team the practice of EdgeRank as it impacts people's personal profiles. So vis-à-vis brands where brands are getting less organic views so they have to pay-up to promote, hallelujah. Take them for all you can. You deserve that."

At the same time he offers some advice to the Facebook CEO in addition to his initial wardrobe suggestions. As Facebook retracts its users' ability to openly communicate with all their followers, it may be putting at risk those users' trust. That's a dangerous place to be:

"If [users] start losing confidence that Facebook is the way to post their life story to everybody who has voluntarily followed them, you could be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And if enough people think this way and they stop using Facebook then you won't be able to charge the brands for promoting their posts."

This may be especially troubling considering Facebook's popularity has begun to recede in recent years, particularly among younger demographics. Kawasaki wonders whether Facebook is playing with fire when it risks alienating its user base. If recent trends continue and the company becomes embroiled in further controversy related to privacy issues, it could very well get burned. Instead, Zuckerberg and his team need to find a solid middle ground from which they can satisfy the need to create revenue while not sacrificing the company's greatest asset: its user base.


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