Why there is no Facebook killer: the death of the P2P dream

James Hudson, Hacker News, Sept 18, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The problem, as we all know, is that "Facebook is simply a cage to hold and study us monkeys while we are being fed ads. These ads are targeted based on an analysis of our activity on Facebook." So why isn't there a P2P version of Facebook, where we could get the interactions without the intrusion? The problem lies in the limitations of the mobile web. "It is designed for browsing web pages and downloading data off big servers, not serving up content to the whole world, like a mini version of a Facebook or Instagram server. It's very difficult, inefficient, and unreliable for your phone to serve out data to all-comers: it's a one-way street." Could we pair phones with web-based servers? Sure - but servers cost money. And "getting money means charging a subscription, or targeted advertising. Personally, I'm not willing to pay money to see pictures of your food." Via Doug Belshaw, who also links to the associated comment thread.

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