Facebook, WhatsApp and Big Tech, consumers have something to say.
In the past days, many words have been written about Facebook enforcing a change of the Terms and Conditions to most of the WhatsApp user base. The platforms want to merge the customer data, and I use the verb enforced because we, consumers, either accepted the new T&C or our accounts would be suspended by the provider.
Now, I am here thinking that first if you are a company that is really interested in providing a service to your customers you should never impose a one side solution, secondly I think that a threatening strategy is never a winning strategy, it is not aligned with customers’ engagement and brand loyalty, and it works only if consumers do not have an alternative. In fact, consumers are so annoyed with such a provocative behaviour, that we are witnessing the largest digital migration of all times, Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, said that they have been experiencing an increase of downloads and migrations up to 500% to Telegram messaging platform and more consumers are also migrating to Signal, the other messaging competitor. The decisive customers’ reaction is forcing Facebook, parent company of WhatsApp, to give further explanations about the use that they will make of the combined data information. Consumers started to appreciate that they can make decisions, even in the digital world, and they are making their voices heard. But if we go back at today’s’ burning question “What can be done to avoid further dominant behaviours from Tech giants? Should we leave the consumers to decide by themselves, just like the case of Facebook and WhatsApp?
I believe that the market should be left free until there is fair competition and choice availability of products and services, consumers can make their own best decision that can impact even Big Tech revenues and profits and brand positioning. Consumers are key decision-makers in the way they make decisions for their personal interests, and corporations will adapt to gain market share and win against competitors. Until now, we have not really witnessed a potential competitor to Facebook, but the market situation can change fast, and Facebook has just discovered.
Change and speed are two important words in the ever-changing technological world and market dynamic can vary fast, while legislation will just slow down innovation without bringing real value. What we really need is more competition to enter the market so that no corporations can avoid considering the consumers well- being while using their services. Understanding how to change and transform, especially in the digital era, is something that we all need to learn and with the learnings that will come from the new processes surely we will all become more Enrich!ed and aware, both consumers or corporations.
Change, to be successful, needs to impact a wider number of people and to do so it needs solid processes so everyone can be part of the change that is waiting for us to be embraced together with the digital economy, but it also needs a different communication strategy, especially now that consumers are more aware of their needs and choices, we are just witnessing the early stage of communication in the digital era. The Big Tech have a role to play by giving up the status of Monolith that they have become and allow more competition to happen so we can all benefits from the innovations ahead. Change is inevitable; we better buckle up and be prepared if we want to drive Tech as a force for Good for all.