Tuesday 7 May 2019 7:48 am

DEBATE: Could Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook omnipotence be coming to an end?

Could Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook omnipotence be coming to an end?

Greg Consiglio, chief operating officer at Connectt, says YES.

Facebook was originally set up to connect friends who share interests, primarily through a news feed that users controlled. Now, algorithms dictate the user experience, and with feeds more crammed than ever, what once was fun and informative now feels like work.

At its conference last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced a key focus on groups, private messaging, and smaller communities in an attempt to stem the tide of criticism. However, it is unclear if people will embrace the new vision, as questions remain over who has control of the users’ Facebook experience, data, and private communications.

With Facebook planning to take a $5bn hit from the US Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations, people are rightly asking whether the company and its offshoots can be trusted with our private moments – either through groups or messaging.

If Zuckerberg can’t win over consumer trust, then further changes could be dictated for him.

Read more: Facebook ditches blue banner in privacy-focused redesign

Leon Emirali, communications specialist and investor, says NO.

Mark Zuckerberg has overseen one of the biggest corporate success stories of the twenty-first century.

The company he presides over owns four of the top five most downloaded apps in the western world. Although investors may be spooked by privacy and fake news concerns, consumers aren’t. Yes, Facebook user growth may have stalled (currently at a staggering 2.2bn users), but its portfolio apps (Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger) are continuing to enjoy steady growth.

Zuckerberg has outlined his intentions to pivot towards “people-to-people” communications. It’s likely that Facebook will introduce significant changes over the coming few months – he has already dropped the iconic blue from the flagship Facebook app, and we are expecting radical transformations of Whatsapp and Messenger. This may include opening up to brands, allowing them to communicate directly with consumers.

These changes, alongside the roll-out of new products such as Workplace, and the potential for significant acquisitions mean that Zuck is going nowhere anytime soon.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.