Zuckerberg’s Law

This is the notion, promoted by Facebook’s founder that the amount of stuff that people share roughly doubles every year.

Good piece in the Economist about Zuckerberg’s latest move to control all human personal information.

The social network is certainly doing its utmost to ensure that folk end up revealing more about themselves, whether they like it or not. On September 22nd Facebook, which now has over 800m users, unveiled a couple of significant changes designed to get people to share far more about their life histories and their interests in music, film and other areas.

The first shift involves people’s profile pages, which hold biographical details about them. In the next few weeks Facebook plans to roll out a redesign of these pages. The new-look profile, dubbed Timeline, will allow users to keep far more of the material they share over the network in an easy-to-use historical format and to add photos and other content from their past more easily. Facebook’s goal is to get people to create a complete online archive of their lives that they constantly curate.

At the same time, the firm is promoting a new generation of “social apps”. Users will be encouraged to report to their friends in real time via these apps that they are, say, listening to a piece of music, cooking a particular kind of meal or watching a specific film. Their friends will then be able to click on, say, a music app and listen to the same piece of music. The company has been working with a group of firms, including Spotify, an online-music outfit, Netflix, a video-streaming service, and a range of news organisations (including the Washington Post and The Economist), to flesh out the offerings it will need to make this new feature take off.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the Economist itself is participating in this farce.

Since Spotify is one of the signed-up ‘partners’, does that mean that Spotify users will have to use their facebook login to, er log in to Spotify?

UPDATE: The answer to that last question is “yes”. Just read this statement from Spotify:

“To us, this is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins. We already use Facebook as part of our backend to power our social features and by adopting Facebook’s login, we’ve created a simple and seamless social experience.

From today, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual ‘passport’, designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don’t need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don’t share by changing your Spotify settings at any time.

We’re constantly trying new things, always looking for feedback and we’re always going to listen to our users, making changes based on this feedback wherever we can.”

I’m reminded of Orwell’s essay on “Politics and the English Language”, and in particular of this sentence:

“Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”