This is the twelfth chapter of Insights from the Future. This is a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. Subscribe to my newsletter mailing list to keep in touch and get notified when the book publishes. Previously published at Medium.
February 26, 2030
The Save Facebook crowdfunding campaign has stalled at $500 million raised globally. It’s the largest amount ever raised on GoFundMe, but there’s a small problem.
Err, make that a big one.
“I just don’t think it’ll be enough,” Facebook CEO-for-life Mark Zuckerberg posted, with a crying emoji, to his Facebook page.
Facebook has been in financial trouble for years, of course. The company paid billions of dollars in compensation to the EU, the U.S, and other countries in compensation for various privacy and antitrust miscues, But the more critical problem is that the site just isn’t profitable anymore, thanks to an exodus of users and dwindling support from advertisers.
“It costs billions annually just to keep all the data that Facebook has stored in its servers,” Forrester analyst Josephine LaTour told me yesterday. “We’re talking literally decades of people’s lives here … on video, too”
That’s the core rationale behind the Save Facebook, Save Our Memories crowdfunding campaign.
Tens of millions of long-time Facebook users have shared — and therefore saved — their memories via Facebook’s free service. Now, as the company teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, all that data is at risk.
“It’s everything,” campaign organizer Franklin Jones says. “My junior high prom. My first date with with my wife. Our wedding pictures. Even our baby’s first steps … all on Facebook.”
That’s all at risk, with no guarantee of long-term safety.
Zuckerberg recently injected $1 billion of his personal fortune into Facebook to stabilize the company and try to rejuvenate the company, but analysts are doubtful that can return it to profitability.
“Like all other companies, Facebook has a limited lifespan,” LaTour says. “Facebook has had a good run, but it probably can’t survive another six months.”
Crowdfunding campaign organizer Jones isn’t giving up.
But he might be better served investing the funds raised to date in alternate methods of storage and sharing, since it certainly appears that the unstoppable Titanic of a company has hit one of its last icebergs.