Article & Graphic By: Emmanuel Vallarta
Facebook worldwide has grown massively in the past decade. In the U.S. alone, it has control of 60.68 percent of the social media market, according to Statista, not counting Instagram and other Facebook owned apps. According to Statcounter, Facebook worldwide has control of 71.97 percent of the market, the biggest market being in India, which has over 270 million users and counting. Facebook and its other apps have been downloaded over 16 billion times. Yes, BILLION. It doesn’t take a genius to see how Facebook could be considered a monopoly.
The Federal Trade Commission, in December of 2020, sued Facebook for illegal monopolization. From acquiring its up-and-coming competitor, Instagram, in 2012, and later the acquisition of Whatsapp in 2014, these are all shady practices that have led the FTC to sue Facebook. Not many apps stand a chance against Facebook, especially because it has been known to completely rip off popular features from competitors like it did with Snapchat Stories and TikTok in the form of Instagram Reels and Stories.
Being anti-competitive and a monopoly is bad enough, but to add on top of the chaos, Facebook is also one of the worst companies when it comes to consumer privacy. The blatant disregard for user privacy was seen last year when Apple announced its new version of iOS, one that focused on privacy. iOS 14 included a pop up that let you decide if an app can track your digital location to serve you personalized ads. Facebook was amongst the biggest that would be impacted by this privacy change. They could potentially lose all of their personalized ad revenue by this one change; because, let’s be honest, no one in their right mind trusts Facebook with their personal data. After their Cambridge Analytica scandal, which used 50 million Facebook users data for political advertisements during the 2016 Election, Facebook’s reputation has been in a steep decline. According to a poll conducted by Huffpost & YouGov, 6 percent of those surveyed said they did not trust Facebook.
This is the monopoly that could have potentially been the default if apps like Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube were still small or were acquired by Facebook. It is obvious that Facebook’s monopoly of chaos needs to be stopped so that we, the consumers, can rest at night knowing that Facebook won’t listen to us and recommend a pink unicorn onesie size medium, even if it is helpful.