Facebook’s Apocalyptic Cost of Being Too Popular

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The price of being too popular–there’s absolutely no way to please everybody, and you’ll have to compromise your values somewhere along the line if you ever want to cash in on all that popularity. I’m not talking about a celebrity, but I might as well be. Facebook is the superstar of trendy corporate wonders. And its delve into the open-sharing concept with the double whammy of instant personalization and updated advertising features has landed Facebook in the hot seat.

Still spreading like wildfire, Facebook has managed to work its way into our daily routine, even when we’re away from our computers. But finding a way to stay ahead of the curve sometimes means stepping on a few toes. Pushing an idea in the right direction at the wrong time could be just as disastrous as pushing the wrong idea all together. I’m not saying Facebook necessarily has the right or wrong idea, but the company must convince the public that its ideas are right.

Which can be a difficult task, when you’ve got hundreds of millions of users to tell. Keeping users in the know is an enormous job to undertake, and it’s been one that Facebook has been dealing with for some time. Of course, part of that issue lies in the fact that Facebook continues to make changes that require large-scale communication efforts with users. But for the time being, let’s focus on Facebook’s necessity for managing its public image properly.

Massive backlash against the changes Facebook makes can push back the social network’s potential to monetize its site activity. Making its platform a more welcoming place for consumers and brands to interact is a tricky puzzle to solve, yet we all expect Facebook to solve it. Maintaining a clean reputation certainly aids in the progression of that puzzle being solved, but that popularity thing just keeps popping its head back up.

Putting Harvard-educated Mark Zuckerberg in the front seat for Facebook’s image was a brilliant move, particularly for the revival of web-based services during Web 2.0. But a book, screenplay and full-scale movie production have threatened to concentrate the drama of Facebook’s beginning in a truly Hollywood fashion. The high-profile lawsuit brought against Facebook from a man claiming to have created it first has led to the unearthing of Zuckerberg in a not-so-flattering light. Should Zuckerberg’s image become too tarnished, his idyllic Facebook tower could come crashing down.

Sounds a bit apocalyptic, and it’s quite unlikely to happen anytime soon. Should a shift in interest occur, it would still take time for a full trend away from Facebook to develop. Given Facebook’s platform, social search capabilities, mobile access and virtual goods initiatives, the social network has plenty to monetize–it just needs to take smaller steps.

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