August 20, 2013
Will YOU Trust Facebook With Your Credit Card Number?
I challenge you to tell me the last time you heard anyone, even your Grandma Myrtle, say something positive about Facebook.
Better people than I have tried to draw up an appropriate analogy and/or metaphor for the social network and our most recent reactions to it.
Stockholm Syndrome seems most appropriate, if not entirely bleak.
Comparing the network to nicotine also seems fitting, if not entirely frightening for a writer who himself struggles with the drug.
Point is, while there are varying levels of discomfort with the world’s largest social network, it’s generally understood that few (non-business) users have too many fantastic things to say about the service.
And yet, it’s still the world’s largest social network. Anything they do, no matter how despicable, we’ll generally keep coming back.
So, will YOU hand them your credit card information?
According to a new report from All Things D, Facebook is looking to roll out their new payment system that works just like PayPal, inviting users to give them damn-near direct access to their bank accounts.
This is the same company, after all, who began attaching their users’ pictures — just started doing it one day — to advertisements in a ploy to get other users to click them.
It is the same company that notoriously moves their privacy settings around in the setting page and routinely reverses the changes you’ve made when they introduce new features.
And it is precisely the same company fronted by a CEO who expects his users to react negatively and is surprised when they continue to come back to the site after all the nonsense they’ve done.
I’ve been saying for many months now that Facebook will not stop building their tower until they can peer into every interaction that happens on the Internet. They’ve built this elaborate courtyard wherein their visitors can get in touch with old friends, make new connections and discuss the important matters of the day, like breastfeeding in public or how the bikini has ruined our culture.
While we were distracted with that, they began watching us and charging advertisers cash to take a peak themselves.
Ever seen the Bob’s Burgers episode where the kids charge their friends money to look through telescope and onto the new nude beach? Yeah, kind of like that.
They want to know whom you’re talking to, so they improved their messages app. They want to know where you go at night, so they let you check in. They want to know what interests you, so they gave you likes and began using them to start getting you to enjoy other things, things that people paid them money to get you to like.
It’s entirely possible Facebook could launch this PayPal competitor in the next few months and somehow manage to do it without bungling it up or having it revealed that they’re using it as leverage somehow to bring more in advertisers.
What most concerns me, however, is the unknown. We didn’t mind “liking” things because we didn’t know Facebook wanted to put our pictures in advertisements without asking us.
It may very well be an innocent system, this new Facebook payment product.
But you never know…
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com