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Facebook makes its case for not being a social monopoly


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US Senate and House committees recently sent Facebook more than 2,000 questions about how it operates its business, as part of the fallout from the recent Cambridge Analytics revelations. Overnight, the social network provided its answers, with the full document well worth a read (alright: a scan, if you’re busy).

One answer is particularly interesting: Facebook making its case for why it’s not a monopoly. “The average American uses eight different apps to communicate with their friends and stay in touch with people. There is a lot of choice, innovation, and activity in this space, with new competitors arising all the time,” suggested its answer.

Who are the main ones? “If a user wants to share a photo or video, they can choose between Facebook, DailyMotion, Snapchat, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Vimeo, Google Photos, and Pinterest, among many other services. Similarly, if a user is looking to message someone, just to name a few, there’s Apple’s iMessage, Telegram, Skype, Line, Viber, WeChat, Snapchat, and LinkedIn — as well as the traditional text messaging services their mobile phone carrier provides.”

Facebook also named Spotify among the competitors in the advertising market, alongside Twitter, Google, YouTube, Amazon and Snapchat, as well as traditional ad channels.

“Facebook represents a small part (in fact, just 6%) of this $650 billion global advertising ecosystem and much of that has been achieved by helping small businesses—many of whom could never have previously afforded newspaper or TV ads—to cost-effectively reach a wider audience…”

Stuart Dredge

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