FRIENDS LIKE MINE: THE PRODUCTION OF SOCIALISED SUBJECTIVITY IN THE ATTENTION ECONOMY (Martyn Thayne)

“Over the last decade, online social networking services (SNS) have emerged as multi-million dollar companies, with substantial investment into digital media platforms reflecting the global popularity of this mode of communication – the most significant being the recent outlay of $500m from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies in a deal valuing Facebook at a reported $50-75bn. Furthermore, Facebook recently filed its intentions with the US Securities and Exchange commission ‘to go public’ by seeking an additional $5bn of investment in stocks. This article interrogates why Facebook and its assets – which represent an extended database of personal information, social relations and consumption habits – have been valued so highly. The scale of this speculative value has recently become clear, with Facebook publishing revenues of $3711m for 2011 (The Guardian, 2012). It appears that companies from across the globe are increasingly turning to Facebook in order to tap into this wealth of user data, with a massive 85% of this revenue being generated from advertising. Given that the advertising interface includes a number of parameters which marketers can use to directly target the most relevant users for their products, all content generated on Facebook (as well as those sites and services which include Facebook plug-in applications) can become financially beneficial.”

Download: FRIENDS LIKE MINE: THE PRODUCTION OF SOCIALISED SUBJECTIVITY IN THE ATTENTION ECONOMY

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