Social Media Companies Want to Control the Internet of Things

By Lauren Reno

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Photo Credit: Vintagedept via Creative Commons.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming huge in recent years. You can find an explanation of the IoT here, but basically, it means connecting with “things” via your smart phone. This can be as simple as opening your garage door, or viewing how many miles you’ve driven recently, using apps.

What we’re seeing now, is that social media companies are noticing how popular the IoT is becoming, and they’re more than interested. Social media companies are planning to start making the IoT available to their users through them, rather than through the apps from which they are currently available.

I am wondering what it will be like to be able to use my mobile Facebook app to turn lights on in my house or change the temperature of my refrigerator. What’s the point?

The IoT seems to be extremely helpful, and people are loving how convenient it is, but is it safe to depend on social media sites to open your garage door or control your child’s virtual piggy bank?

According to an article about this by Forbes:

“Over the past few years, location awareness features have become critical for social apps, and as it turns out the things in our lives can provide an amazing amount of information about both us and our surroundings. By integrating with sensors in ours homes, the wearables on our body and with the car we drive, these services will have a better understanding of where we and those in our network are, as well as a better contextual understanding of what we are doing.”

You can read the rest of the Forbes article here.

It seems that people these days are already very concerned about social media companies and other companies such as Google knowing information about us. It seems that it would be very invasive for social media companies to have this type of information about our daily lives through the Internet of our “things.” So is it invasive? Or does the convenience of the IoT make up for it? And is it useful for social media companies to control the Internet of Things? What do you think?

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6 responses to “Social Media Companies Want to Control the Internet of Things

  1. Although I do think some of these apps are useful and practical by themselves (ie. seeing how much mileage you’re getting out of your car, turning lights off in your house remotely to save energy, etc.) I fail to see how social media connects to these types of activities. It just feels like an money-motivated move by [social media companies]. Also, I could see this being a safety and security issue. What if I lost my phone and someone used it as a remote to open my garage, unlock my house and break in, all because I had Twitter logged in? That alone would make me hesitant to use such features.

    • I always get nervous about letting certain applications use my location in the first place… does anyone else do that?

      • I don’t even hook up my Twitter to my GPS…I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel safe. Like, I’ll tweet: “This coffee is great!” and it could say “@ Dunkin’ Donuts” There’s not anything wrong with people knowing where I am I guess…but I think it’s normal to be paranoid.

  2. Sydney you hit the nail right on the head! My biggest fear would be losing my phone or having it stolen. That person would then have access to my home and a plethora of my personal information! Scary… I think that social media and technology are becoming pretty invasive. I do like some of the conveniences of technology but I do not think that every aspect of my life needs to be hooked up to my smart phone and my Twitter account.

  3. I feel the same way. I wouldn’t trust social media to deal with things like that. I feel like we already trust them with more information than we should, and the last thing we need is to give them more power over us and our daily lives.

  4. The Internet of Things concept seems pretty strange to me overall. Why do I need my phone to open my garage door when I have that cool remote clipped on to the sun visor in my car? And, I am not comfortable with using an app OR social media to control my bank account; that’s serious stuff that I should not entrust to a device I once accidentally dropped into a toilet. Apps and social media are great for connecting with friends or keeping track of mundane things, but relying on our smartphones for everything feels a bit too much like putting all our eggs in one basket.

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