Facebook sold access to user data, despite Zuckerberg's testimony to US CongressWatch this thread
If enough people could be convinced to set up their own accounts and perhaps make use of traffic from major news sites offshore or perhaps in itself, it could grow. A simple thought I haven't thought through yet.
That's like saying someone who comes up with a McDonald's equivalent who sells healthy and ethically sourced foods will be a billionaire.
The data-mining and unethical advertising is the sole factor behind the Zucc's riches.
Anyway corporations are constructs high level than governments anyway. Top corporations if they wish might even found their own city or country.
Although their model probably wouldn't work for social media because keyword targetting might be seen as intrusive by data-fussy users, and may not be effective enough for advertisers. People using keywords to search for products are in active research/buying mode, whereas people just mentioning certain keywords in a social media setting almost certainly are not.
I don't trust Facebook or Google as far as I can thrown them, not least because there is evidence that they conspire with dictatorial governments to share confidential user content with them for nefarious purposes in order to stay in those markets. Both corporations have, for example, aided China in censorship activities and in handing over user data. Both are in bed with the NSA and it is unknown how much information they really traffic to US government agencies and our own. It wouldn't be at all inconceivable that they also traffic commercial data from rival companies abroad to US corporations - the NSA have done this in the past with other snooping technologies.