FB is big, very big. The first time I logged onto FB was in the late autumn of 2005. Back then the hype had started, and within a couple of years they gained massive momentum, but personally I don’t really use this modern Wonder of a social network. And I still only use it quite limited, and pretty much only to make sure I know how one of the most important “platforms” operates and develops, it kind of comes with the job. Also, the kids will probably use it big time, and soon you will probably not exist as a person if you are not on FB.
The reason why I don’t use it that much p.t. (contrary to LinkedIn where I care about my profile) is not that I can not see how smart all the functions are. Absolutely not, FB is highly addictive, and it is extremely smart for mingling, virtual socialising, keeping in touch, prodding around, personell fact finding etc. Absolutely great. But, with my life situation (wife, three small kids and a pretty demanding job), then I am not socialising that much anyway. And to those that says “well, then socialise online if you don’t have time, it’s more efficient”, I actually do prefer to keep most of my private communication as old fashioned as possible, e.g. I don’t have a need to publish my personal life to a big network. I guess that shows my 40 years birthday is not too far away, or that I am just boring by nature.
I also find it somewaht disturbing what FB are doing to my data. As Robert Cailliau says (co-inventor of WWW); “it is easy to get in, but difficult to get out”. Much truth in that. I am not paranoid about it, but I will probably never trust a unregulated commercial enterprise with all my data. One day, I am sure regulation will catch up, for good and bad.
Pros & cons on FB can easily lead to some interesting and heated discussions. I was witness to one such discussion the other day on the Eurostar coming back from meetings in Belgium (very well done Mathieu and team, you guys are doing really well, lots of energy and creativity in building Just-Eat.be). David B., our dear UK Country Manager, is not only fanatically opposing the iPhone, but he also refuses having a profile on FB (he steals his colleagues log-in, when he needs to check something). Rasmus W. was leading the charge against David-the-Luddite with Mat B. and I laughing our butts off, and it lasted for around one hour. Below is a picture taken during a lull in the fighting, I also have a video with plenty of insults being traded as well as a good deal of finger pointing, but it is almost too violent to show here. And there was absolutely nothing new under the sun in terms of insights, it was pure entertainment.
Anyway, FB is great for certain things, and one day they can probably also be trusted more than what is possible today. And whether we want it or not, FB is, a massive platform for all types of communication, transactions, searches, exchanges, etc in the future. And we at Just-Eat will of course engage with FB users to get the most out of that. A couple of months ago we only had a few thousand FB friends, and today we are closer to 40,000, and I think this will grow tremendously. So yes, we care about Facebook, and most people probably should!