“The future is private,” said Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook’s roadmap, after conceding “we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly.” But it’s easy to see why he would genuinely want that … now. Facebook’s seemingly endless series of privacy debacles have been disastrous for the company’s reputation.
Not its revenue, mind you; but revenue is famously a lagging indicator in the tech industry. Companies which, like Facebook, effectively become utilities, tend to maximize their income just as their use becomes ubiquitous — not because people especially like them any more, but because there seems to be no better alternative. (See also: Craigslist. PayPal. An obscure little company called MySpace which you may have heard of once.)