Facebook Home FAIL! (?) Twitter HACKED!
For those of you who haven’t noticed, there have been some major missteps in the world of social this week.
First, there’s Facebook Home. This was paraded in front of us a few weeks ago after the misguided assumption that Facebook was announcing a new phone they had been secretly building. Well, Facebook Home turned out to be “new phone-ish” – an app suite for Android phones, that’s confusing at best and glitchy at worst. So far, it’s not very popular, even among the small sliver of consumers that it’s available for. There are still some who advocate it may be innovative and unique, and possibly a home run. But for the most part word is getting around that Facebook Home is not all it was hyped up to be.
Ryan Green, one of True Media’s digital specialists, has been following the new product’s rise. He believes that Facebook should be concentrating on making the products it already has more innovative and market friendly. “At one point, Facebook was the most cutting edge tech company of our time. In 2013, their new offerings, like Facebook Home, are stale and boring. When are they going to integrate and monetize Instagram?”
Like Facebook, another social media giant was shaken this week. After months of reputation-damaging, yet (relatively) harmless hacks on accounts like Jeep and Burger King, the AP’s Twitter account was hacked and the following tweet was delivered:
This tweet played on the immediate fears of everyone who’s lived through last week – when real world problems were still weighing heavily on our minds and hearts. Ricin deliveries to the President, explosions and terrorist attacks are still fresh in our collective thoughts. Although some of the savvier Twitter users realized this was a hack job, tweets like this have the potential to cause mass panic if initiated on a large scale. Something like this would leave Twitter (the messenger) on the defensive if there were unintended (or intended) consequences. To some degree, there were consequences as stocks fell and the market was temporarily rocked.
What do these fails mean for the future of social media and the ever-evolving means in which we get our information?
For Facebook, the fallout is mostly financial. With a recent lift in its stock price, things were beginning to look up for them again. Products like Facebook Home are a drag, sure, but sometimes when you swing for the fence you’re gonna miss.
For AP and Twitter, these hacks bring up a larger and more important issue plaguing social media – the misuse of information and misinformation that can be used to destroy. This is especially important when it comes to the government and national security, and those affected are our most trusted news outlets. It’s probably time to ramp up our protections in this space. Are we being proactive with regard to social media security? Security precautions for corporations and government need to be agile and evolve with the ever-changing social media landscape. I’m not trying to be Chicken Little here, but it’s something to think about. Can our use (and misuse) of social media communication be used against us?
In sum, Facebook’s next big thing isn’t always going the greatest “next big thing.” And more importantly, don’t believe everything you read online, especially Twitter. News breaks fast there, and it’s not always accurate. A little caution goes a long way in this space.