Facebook owes us

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Facebook is officially the most used website in the world. 500 million of us are logging on and it costs us absolutely zilch. There’s been press coverage aplenty promising that we’ll never have to pay to use the site. That’s nothing new, but what if I told you that Facebook might owe you a quid or two? 

Facebook makes its millions from advertisers on the site but this is only worth something because we’re visiting. And why are we visiting? Because 500 million of us are continuously uploading compelling content that people want to see. Eureka! 

When you think about it, we’re paying for the privilege of using social media with micropayments of personal information. People are effectively working for free to create wealth for Facebook’s shareholders. And so the Facebook Users’ Union was born. 

The 19 campaigners (to date) are headed up by advertising creative, Richard Buchanan. They believe that Facebook should calculate each member’s value based on the amount that the site earns from advertising next to their content. This makes the whole concept perfectly possible. Even if it was just a fraction of a penny per person, when scaled up it could mean mega bucks. The Facebook User’s Union recommends that users should be able to influence how the profit would be distributed and it could even be donated to worthy causes. 

Could this completely re-define the relationship between consumer value and company profit? Watch this space.