Philanthropy or Marketing?

One of the great potentials of social media is still painfully underrealized: greater cultural connection for the people of the world. The question is: what barriers are keeping us from getting to know our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, in other cities in the country? Access to technology is the first part of the equation, and Apple has been smart about getting people familiar with their tech by donating computers and phones for entry level experiences. Back in the 90s, it was placing Apple computers in classrooms that helped to raise their profile.

The question is: is this more than great marketing?

It is only within the context of a business climate where the race for market share, the push for profits is out of balance that the best interest of the end consumer falls second to the interest of the brand. Brands are providers, not parasites. In order to serve a public, a brand needs a vital public in a position to use their service. This is why it is in the best interest of big tech companies to humanize their products. In the long run, a social media company that cares about not making addictive products will win. People crave candy but can’t survive on it. Tech companies that provide people with the tools to live fulfilling lives will survive the transition.

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