Watch your tone, Facebook

Watch your tone, Facebook.png

After being caught red-handed (or should that be blue-handed?) secretly selling off intimate details of our private lives to the highest bidder, tone of voice might not be Facebook’s number one concern. But it should definitely be in their top ten.

Suddenly those ‘We care about your privacy’ messages that pop up alongside an illustration of a cute dinosaur are more gag-inducingly fake than ever. The ‘Celebrate your friendship with…’ posts are less of a trivial annoyance, and more a reminder that the social media giant has been on the tail of you and your best friend for the past five years.

So, where to go from here? Stick with the cutesy tone and hope all this nasty news goes away. Or try to rebuild trust with something a little more grown up.

Consumers aren't stupid. We can smell an inauthentic tone of voice a mile off. ‘Craft’ brewer Brewdog talks like a punk but acts like a suit, ‘acquiring’ pub chains, flooding supermarkets with now mass produced beer, and threatening family-run pubs with legal action. And oil giants like BP tell us how green and future-thinking they are while sucking every last drop of oil out of the ground (and spilling quite a lot of it in the ocean).

Facebook now looks as ridiculous as these fat fibbers. It needs to figure out what its values are fast (if it had any to begin with) and how to talk about them authentically. Before the giant becomes another dinosaur.