How Google and Facebook are only following radio & TV’s footsteps & ‘selling out’.
Google and Facebook were supposed to symbolize a utopian world where information and connections would be free and ‘unbiased’. How could they do this to us?
Of course, we should have seen this coming. It’s not that this hasn’t happened before.
Advertising time on TV has shot up from 15% of total time in the 60s to as much as 40% of total time now. Radio advertising time has skyrocketed. Magazines have filled up with ads – many filling anywhere from 30 to 40% of their space with advertising.
When the first TVs, radios and magazines began, they carried hardly any advertising, and nearly 100% content. As they grew, advertising started seeping in. Slowly, slowly, advertising became the engine that kept these industries humming, not content.
As they generated more and more dollars, it became more important to please Wall Street than to please their users.
What happened with TV and radio and print is happening to the web. And this is precisely what will happen to mobile, and people will wring their hands when the Instagrams and WhatsApps and Snapchats of the world monetize themselves and ‘sell out’.
Every medium has to feed the beast of monetization as it grows, even if it means biting the hand of the consumers who helped it grow.