Review: Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture
In essence, Taplin points out that Google and Facebook achieve their massive net profit margins because they dominate the means by which content is distributed on the net, while creating very little of it themselves. He points out that You Tube (owned by Google) has in excess of 55% of the streaming audio business but only contributes 11% of the revenue distributed to the creators. Whereas Spotify has been striking deals with record companies that drive more revenue back to the creators of content, the collapse of the fixed format (compact disc) sector of the music business has been catastrophic for many artists. Facebook refuses to negotiate agreements for the distribution of music and video on its platform.
Taplin also touches on the psychological aspects of Facebook’s designs. He notes that studies by B.F. Skinner in the 1960s reveal a quirk fundamental to Facebook’s model. When Skiner’s mice hit a lever and were given the same reward, they soon hit the lever far less vigorously than the mice who were given variable rewards. Ponder your behavior when it comes to reacting to the ping of a new text or a Facebook update.