Welcome to the Jungle: Facebook and Alphabet Slip, Amazon Posts Record Profits

We’re tired of social, but we still love search and shopping.

We noted last week that Facebook might be in some trouble.

Yesterday, some numbers came out that help fill in the picture.

Facebook’s earnings outpaced predictions, but shares fell yesterday anyway as investors worry that less time spent on the platform will continue to drive value down.  2017’s fourth quarter was Facebook’s worst ever in terms of new users.

Alphabet, the parent of Google, saw its stocks slip yesterday on missed earnings numbers, though its revenue is fine thanks to the continued strength of ad sales.

It was nothing but good news for Amazon, though, which just posted its largest profits ever.  The news about productivity-tracking wrist bands on workers in its warehouses don’t seem to bother investors, nor does the application of sorting-line management models to Whole Foods.

People are getting tired of Facebook.  It’s just a fact.  I don’t know how much of that has to do with fake news (its leadership thinks that’s a big part of it), but my hunch is that we’re tired of the stupid fights on one hand and the echo-chamber dynamic on the other.  For all of the good it certain can do for drawing attention to marginalized concerns, social media has also made us sick of each other.

We may give up on social.  We may cede less of our wealth and time to Google.  But we’ll never stop buying actual things, and Amazon will never stop selling them to us.  They will quantify every quantifiable thing in their pursuit of profit, including the people keep their company going.

One hundred and twelve years ago, Upton Sinclair called the newly industrialized world “the jungle.”  Soon, we may simply call it “Amazon.”

 

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