Social Networking Has Never Been More Popular, but What about User Content?

03 December 2008 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Facebook claims to have more than 120 million active members and it is the 4th most trafficked site in the world. Of course there are many other popular social network sites including LinkedIn and MySpace to name a few, and only to make things more interesting a recent report indicates that more than half of MySpace visitors are 35 or older. Not much of a surprise that more mature individuals are getting into social networking as the Internet evolves.

What about the Content?

The terms of use vary between Facebook and other social network sites, but one common provision in the terms of use is that the users grant these sites a worldwide license to the user content that is irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferrable, royalty free to use, copy, or just anything they want. Facebook also limits its liability to the amount of monies paid (if any) or $1000. Even users of Google Apps grant Google a license to their content.

Web Universal ID?

Facebook recently announced Facebook Connect which is an Universal ID that will allow its users to only logon once and then navigate to third party sites. Not much of a surprise that Google, Yahoo!, and MySpace are also developing similar technology. However, it seems that either few individuals don’t care or understand that they are providing Facebook, MySpace, Google, and the all the rest with licenses to their personal content. Regardless of what users understand the growth of the social networking websites will be based on increased data from their users’ content which will generate more online advertising revenues.

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