If you’ve ever been in a casino (being it in Las Vegas, Reno, Macau or Honk Kong) you’ve probably noticed how every little detail is studied in such a way to keep you inside. You can find any kind of attraction, you get offered free booze, free food and a complete absence of watches. Anything is studied to keep you in, and lot of money is invested to convince you to have another hand at the tables or stay a little more in front of the one arm bandits (the slot machines). Facebook is adopting a similar strategy to have people spend even more time on the social network.
Most of the innovations of Facebook are studied in such a way the user feels no urge tu use other media, whatever is the content or service is. Last year we’ve seen the introduction of the video on the platform, so that users don’t have to rely on just Youtube to share them, and Instant Articles, so that even when you are reading a piece of news you don’t need to get out of the golden cage built around you by Zuckerberg.
Even the newly added chatbots are part of this strategy. To avoid people going on other websites, Facebook has introduced chatbots, simple Artificial Intelligence which are able to answer simple questions without human intervention. Soon bots will be able to make monetary transactions so that if you want to buy a vacation or a pair of shoes, you can do it directy from the platform.
Someone thinks that Facebook has become a publisher, probably the most influential one thanks to nearly 2 billions of users. If you look it closely you’ll find out that Zuckerberg aims even higher: he wants Facebook to became the front door of the Internet, to take that position that now is occupied by Google. And its strategy is working well, so well that probably someone won’t be too happy. Unlike Google, which is doing its best to be content agnostic, Facebook has different guidelines that is trying to impose on users, often trough censorship. A control so tight and undiscriminated that has been responsible for taking out of the network content like paintings or iconic pictures just because they show nudity.