Friday, April 6, 2018

The German Facebook Story

For weeks, there's been this social media hype in Germany....mostly all negative if you watched public ARD or ZDF networks. When this Cambridge Analytica story came simply doubled down in nature.

So I sat last night and was lightly entertained over a short story by ARD.

The public news media went out and asked Germans over their Facebook attitude, and I suspect they were hoping to get a certain message out of this.

What they got was this.....59-percent of Germans said right up front....they don't have a Facebook account.  Yes....almost two out of every three.....don't use Facebook.  So you have to start wondering....this theme of the public news media in Germany, if it's being totally wasted.

Twenty-seven percent of Germans (who did have Facebook accounts) say that nothing much has changed in their lives and they use it at the same rate as before....meaning the whole trend by public news to discourage people...hasn't really worked well.

Then you come to 12-percent of Germans who simply say that they use it less....than before.  No one says how much less, but just less.

Then finally, you come to 2-percent of German society, who did have Facebook accounts, and they've basically quit Facebook over the privacy issue.

Various media experts have hyped up over the past three years the expectation that by 2020....roughly 50-percent of German society would be Facebook members.  Right now....if the polling is correct, it's around 61-percent of Germans who don't have an account or have quit.

Back in the fall of 2017, there was a story in the news that came from Facebook itself....that they'd come upon various fake accounts existing out of Germany ('thousands' was the term used).  The Facebook management folks had announced that they were closing out the fake account.  My impression at the time was that it was in the 3,000 to 10,000 range. 

One of the odd statistical things I noted last year (Reuters reported this), was that across France, around 56-percent of French public had Facebook accounts.  In the UK, it was near 64-percent. 

What the larger numbers in France and the UK?  Part of this relates to the perception of Germans over usefulness.  I suspect if you gathered up a bunch of Germans and useful was Facebook in their daily lives, most would say marginal.  Germans are not likely to have huge social circles of friends....they are more prone to have a tight circle....lesser folks, but they tend to meet often and socialize more with those friends.  So they don't see the return value of Facebook's intentions. 

As for the public news media and their anti-social media campaign?  If you look at the numbers....this whole hype is marginally of any value.  They've wasted thousands of man-hours building stories, that really don't mean much to the majority of Germans. 

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