6 Things Facebook May Be Over- Or Underestimating

Here are six things Facebook is overestimating and underestimating.

The biggest, most popular social network is rightfully confident in their product, but perhaps Facebook has gotten a little too confident. After all, arrogance has the reputation for blinding.little too confident.

Does Facebook need to dip their toes in modest waters, or is it doing just fine? You decide. Here are six things Facebook is overestimating and underestimating.

Overestimating: User Adaptability

Frequent interface changes make Facebook users mad, that’s no secret. Facebook perversely assumes that despite their users’ dissonance they’ll stay faithful to the platform — no matter what. With this mentality, a reliance on users’ threshold for change is pressed to the limits.

Facebook’s most recent changes pushed many users to the edge. Although the amount is unknown, threats and declarations to quit the platform are made aplenty each time Facebook implements its changes.

Overestimating: Brand Loyalty

Facebook may have over 800 million active users, but that doesn’t mean they’re brand-loyal. Earlier this year Facebook collaborated with AT&;T on a mobile phone, the HTC Status. The “Facebook phone” was expected to reel in purchases from Facebook lovers and addicts alike, but with sales so poor the phone faced discontinuation rumors early on.

Lesson learned: Facebook users are weak in brand loyalty. Just because a product is marketed as Facebook friendly, doesn’t mean it will sell. Wonder if there’s any hope for Buffy?

Overestimating: Engineer Recruitment

No, Facebook. Not every young, brilliant mind wants to work for you. With aspirations of making their own dent on the universe, the appeal of working for a small start up over a powerhouse company like Facebook is becoming a popular decision among young developers.

Facebook is a massive company with thousands of employees. Young computer science students entering the workforce don’t want to be just another number; they want to make a difference. Hot new start ups are staying competitive on the recruitment front by selling company intimacy and impact possibility.

Overestimating: China

Will China ever release its ban on Facebook? It’s an exhausted topic.

Although it’s impossible to accurately say what Facebook’s current plans for China are, it is fair to assume the social network wants acceptance by the entire world, especially the country with the largest population.

It’s doubtful that Facebook has given up the fight to win China’s approval, although maybe that’s worth reconsidering. The Chinese have their successful social networking sites, so no one over there is missing out on anything.

Underestimating: Privacy

Give them an inch; they’ll go a mile. Five years ago I would have never been okay with the world seeing my personal information and photos, however, as the years have passed I’ve loosened up on my privacy settings. Likely, my story speaks to many.

For those who have yet to be properly acquainted to this new world of total transparency, of which Facebook is responsible, they’re still fighting the good war and seem to have won a small battle, as the FTC recently put Facebook in check.

This just proves that privacy — or a right to privacy control — is non-negotiable for users and Facebook’s coaxing for more lax privacy settings will not work.

Underestimating: Google Plus

Despite media reports to the contrary, Google Plus is growing, says its Vice President of Product, Bradley Horowitz.

With the recent release of brand pages, the nascent social network is helping Google compete directly with Facebook. Whether s this a legitimate reason for the leading social network to stay on its toes remains to be seen.

Regardless of these oversights — and whether you agree with them or not — Facebook dominates despite their flaws. With their multitude of fiercely committed users, it begs the question: Is there anything Facebook can’t get away with?

Guest writer Chelsea Hejny is lead blogger at ShortStack.