Techies talk of Zuckerberg’s law, which states that every year, the amount of information people willingly share will double. It’s rare for a single person--let alone someone so young, at age 27--to be credited with shaping a fundamental condition of our age. But the law isn’t just a human urge; it’s a response to Facebook’s widening, ever-inviting platform. This past year brought more sharing of music and news, and a timeline of users’ lives. More important are the leaked documents that indicate how lucrative all that sharing is: Facebook may be more profitable than Amazon, netting almost $1 billion off of more than $3 billion in revenue. Its success in display advertising will only intensify its rivalry with Google. We assign Facebook a few demerits for its habit of overreaching into users’ privacy, apologizing, and then only slightly rolling back the offending policy. But then again, Mark Zuckerberg knows we’ll all just accept it eventually.
Illustration by Peter Oumanski