Facebook has silently changed the slogan on its homepage to encourage people to register.
The motto has changed from “It’s free and always will be” to “It’s fast and easy”, abandoning, for the first time in more than a decade, a reference to the fact that it costs nothing to become a user.
Using the internet file Wayback Machine, it seems that Facebook changed the motto sometime between August 6 and 7.
Here, the archive site shows the original slogan still in force on August 6.
However, by August 7, the slogan has been changed, removing the mention of the site being free and replacing it with “It’s quick and easy.”:
We contacted Facebook to ask why the change was made, but the company has not yet responded to our request for comments.
Mark a departure from the familiar rhetoric of Facebook. The company has long promoted the fact that it is free to use due to its commercial model financed by advertising.
Just a few weeks ago, Nick Clegg, head of global affairs recently hired by Facebook and one of the chief lieutenants of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seemed to contrast the business model of the social network with companies such as Apple, which make money selling expensive technology to a “exclusive club”. “.
But after a series of high profile privacy scandals, the value of your personal information, which is voluntarily delivered to Facebook at the time of registration, has become more evident than ever. It is this information that allows Facebook to sell targeted advertising.
Facebook could be responding to an EU directive on data as a form of payment
“Facebook is not free and never has been,” said lawyer and digital law expert José Antonio Castillo to Business Insider (apparently he was one of the first to tweet about the change). “The currency of Facebook was and continues to be the personal information of users. However, it has never been free, because the data is worth a lot of money.”
As to why Facebook decided to alter its slogan without any warning or explanation, Castillo suspects that it could have been driven by a directive that the European Parliament approved in May that, for the first time, recognizes that data exchange is actually a way of payment.
Although the original Facebook slogan was “It’s free and always will be”, its terms and conditions contradict it. In its Platform Policy, Clause 11 of Section 7 (Things to know) warns that: “We do not guarantee that the Platform will always be free.”