The network effect is Facebook’s biggest selling point, and the root of many of its problems.
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What happened with Cambridge Analytica highlights this perfectly.
Before many people join a network, it may not be so useful. But the more people join, the more useful it becomes. That’s the network effect. Facebook is a step beyond that — it’s the network effect on steroids.
This is what makes facebook so great — it knows everything about you! — and what makes facebook so awful — IT KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. And while its network of 2.13 billion monthly users doesn’t pay any money to use the core service, Facebook makes plenty of money — millions daily — buy selling that user data. And everyone on the site agreed to this when they signed up.