Those who know me or follow this blog might have heard me rant about folks who rant about the occasional changes Facebook makes to its layout, news algorithm, terms of service, you name it.
A similar level of fervor is spreading across the “Applesphere” as some folks are getting bent out of shape over U2’s latest album appearing FREE in their iTunes accounts. I’m a long-time fan of U2, so I was thrilled at this lovely surprise. And who doesn’t like free?
But for some, Apple, like people have longed complained about Facebook, is messing with MY stuff.
The technology psyche
We’ve long had fanboys for one reason or another… you’re either an Apple or PC guy… you love Android or you don’t. But the notions of what it means being an Apple fan, or a Coke fan, or a Nike fan, or a Chevy fan are changing.
Facebook, as a tool, has been monumental in enabling connections between friends and family who might otherwise fall out of our lives. Facebook and most social media, have also been monumental in enabling the availability, the consumption, and the interpretation of the events that surround us.
Web sites, including social media sites, have long “measured” our activity. You might think this is a new phenomenon, but it’s been around since we first logged onto the Web. Perhaps longer. Marketers and other data strategists are hard at work RIGHT NOW trying to figure out how this information can be used.
Apple, Google, and all the other mobile phone manufacturers have been hit by criticisms from folks reacting to the (often Facebook filtered) news of changing terms of service. Each of these events sparked some amount of discomfort and pure outrage at how these companies dare connect with MY space (see what I just did there?).
So, how did we get here?
It seems the now ubiquity of Facebook and smartphones in our society has entrenched itself within our lives. Most of us couldn’t imagine life without these technologies. We have more of this on the way, too. Apple is poised to become the epicenter of our digital lives. They got the ball rolling with iTunes and the iPod, which turned into an “Indiana Jones” style stunt with iCloud and the iPhone. This integration of technology will only accelerate as tools like Apple Watch, Apple Pay and Apple CarPlay become more and more central to our lives.
These technologies are part of us now. Only newer, better alternatives will displace them. I do disagree with all the noise-makers out there. Neither iTunes nor Facebook is yours. Do Apple and Facebook have a duty to keep customers happy? Sure, but that only extends so far as making their products viable enough for the near term. This will be an interesting trend as technology becomes more and more central to our lives.