As the FAANG Founders Turn – On Each Other

As the FAANG Founders Turn – On Each Other

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You have to give Mark Zuckerberg credit. Love him or hate him, he does act very deliberately, even if you might believe that it is with malice aforethought.

Netflix founder and CEO Reid Hastings resigned from the Facebook board this past week. Peggy Alford, currently senior vice president of Core Markets for PayPal, will be nominated to join the board of directors and become its first black member, but there’s a clear case of missing the forest through the trees here.

Facebook is reportedly spending $1 billion on producing original content. When Hastings joined the board in 2011, he said that he had been trying to figure out how to integrate Facebook and make Netflix more social, so getting on the board was a good deal, according to Business Insider.

Facebook has been hoovering up information and tracking people across the web for years, even if you’re not even on the platform or are actively using it, as we know, and lest we forget, Instagram and Whatsapp are also Facebook-owned.

Then there are the APIs that are shared and have shared for years with third parties, with information going back to the mothership, aka, Facebook. So considering Hastings’ statement back in 2011, Facebook’s announcement of its foray into original programming, and that the platform has no doubt been gathering information on all of those Netflix customers for years as Hastings was looking to make Netflix more social by integrating Facebook, Hastings no doubt very recently had a Holy Cannoli moment.

In case you weren’t aware, Facebook is the DNA of the online world, meaning, just as all people on the planet have their own particular DNA sequence which is unique to them, so it is online, with Facebook as the keepers of the unique signatures. Google, too, no doubt, with its huge footprint in search et al, but differently. Facebook literally hits home, the connected Google/Alphabet and Amazon devices aside.

So the issue isn’t simply about privacy, and considering genetic code mapper 23 and Me (warning: “The product isn’t really a kit…the product is you,” noted Popular Science and do you really want to hand that most sensitive of information over to Google founder Sergei Brin’s ex-wife?) and the genetic and consumer data they’re tracking, while consumers may be a bit wary of the company, in the meantime, they’re handing over their unique digital DNA samples to Facebook/Instagram multiple times daily.

Note to self: we sometimes do random searches on the platforms and/or posts that have nothing to do with us personally or our interests, figuring that throwing out a bit of junk DNA every now and again just for gits and shiggles is entertaining and why not throw them off a bit?

Forest through the trees: in an effort to make Netflix more social, Hastings may well have given away the DNA of its Netflix customers, and it may prove a huge cost savings as Facebook attempts to pinpoint what sort of programming might most appeal to its audiences.

In other words, the information that Netflix shared no doubt saved Facebook’s a fortune in R&D for its new original programming service and may well have helped Facebook to avoid some potential costly misfires.

Facebook had to make some sort of move: with the reversal of Net Neutrality and the return of competition, the emergence of new companies and the uptick of IPOs now that the FANG stocks have lost their chokehold and their continuing meteoric rise in the market, we wonder if this is the first indication that the FANG companies may start attacking each other and/or eating their own.

Welcome back to the wonderful world of competition, boys – it has been a while – and have a nice day, as we go onward and forward.

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