Not only is Facebook the most pervasive and far reaching "social media "site in the history of the internet, but its profitability, was over $22 billion in fiscal year 2018, and its market capitalization was of May 3, 2019, $558 billion; of which those gaudy numbers emit from the fact that Facebook states that 2.7 billion people use the Facebook family of services, which makes Facebook a truly gargantuan, ubiquitous, and awesome site. But is Facebook, and its family of services, of Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, in which all of these formats are provided free to the user, actually a social media site, especially in consideration that its sales were $55.8 billion in 2018, or is Facebook masquerading as a social media site, but is actually in effect, a surveillance site?
Facebook makes almost all of its money, and accounts for almost all of its revenue from advertising. The main reason why Facebook can garner in all of this advertising money is that Facebook, in the structure of its format, knows its clients, better than those client's friends or even their spouses. That is to say, as reported by the nytimes.com, researchers discovered that simply "... using nothing but the subject’s Facebook activity," that their algorithm was more accurate in predicting that person's personality traits than any of the human participants, needing "… just 10 likes to beat a work colleague, 70 to beat a roommate, 150 to beat a parent or sibling, and 300 to beat a spouse." That is to say, without even using the information that Facebook has aggrandized, correlated, and processed in regards to a client's entire Facebook page, but by merely reading in the likes of that client, the algorithm was better at predicting the true personality traits of that client, simply from those Facebook likes.
Additionally, and the reason why advertisers spend so much money with Facebook, is the fact that Facebook remembers and keeps virtually everything ever posted about each of its clients and their activity. For instance, Facebook facial recognition software is so good, it knows to properly tag their clients in photos. Also, every ad that has ever been click on in a client's Facebook page, is noted, dated, and stored at Facebook, which is of tremendous value to advertisers. Facebook knows your geo-location, it knows every single contact that has been made at some point with other people on Facebook, and it also knows every single social event ever attended by its clients when that is done through using Facebook. It knows every friend, that has ever been befriended on Facebook, including the specific date when the client became friends, those that have been unfriended, and the time, date, and IP address of every log-in to Facebook. Facebook has a copy of every message sent or received while on Facebook, as well as every photo ever pasted onto Facebook. Basically, everything that is posted by its clients, Facebook keeps, as well as keeping the time, date, and geo-location of those postings, in addition to knowing the exact age and likes of the clients that use the Facebook website.
While Facebook will decry that all these postings and the usage of Facebook are voluntarily done, what they will not readily admit to is the fact that virtually all of this information is fundamentally used to sell salient portions of it to advertisers. The reason that Facebook keeps, collates, and processes everything about a given Facebook page is to monetize that information for its own enormous financial benefit. So then, rather than being a social media site, which helps connect and keep connected friends and family with one another, Facebook is actually a pervasive and relentless surveillance site which knows everything about you, so as to better exploit you.