Facebook is one of the most hyped ideas of our time. But if you’re honest in your analysis, you have to admit, unlike many other ideas and companies Facebook continues to live up to the hype.
- Facebook is operating at a run rate of over $1 billion right now.
- There are over 500 million users on Facebook
- According to Compete.com, the website draws 140 million unique visitors to the site per month.
Not bad for a company that’s not even 10 years old.
So what does the future of Facebook look like and how will it affect marketing online?
First, let’s observe a few things:
- Facebook is creating a competitor to Groupon (the highly lucrative and fast growing group deals website)
- Facebook has mimicked the core features of Twitter and Foursquare (the location-based check-in game).
- Facebook has integrated Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) into their website.<
- Facebook has a little known payments option already implemented; you can spend money to buy credits.
- Facebook continues to build out its relatively sophisticated advertising platform.
- The Facebook API allows other websites to integrate with Facebook and seamlessly lets visitors register on these external websites and/or provide information and/or share links or messages.
Based on these recent actions, Facebook looks like it’s pretty much planning to take over the internet.
I write that with a little bit of sarcasm, but is it so far from the truth?
Their actions show that they have great ambition on many web fronts and their network continues to grow organically in value as more people sign-up and in general the internet penetrates new corners of the earth.
Some people speculate that the internet will become Facebook.
If we assume that Facebook does have ambitions that great, how would they go about achieving that? Here are a few ideas:
- Create a Facebook website browser (similar to Firefox or Internet Explorer). Facebook will be able to collect more data this way and be able to make a more compelling argument for why website owners should integrate their sites with them.
- Partner with smartphone and computer manufacturers to have a Facebook Operating System (like a replacement for Windows) integrated with the hardware. The same benefits from the point above apply to this one.
- Keep the website “closed-off” — it’s ok if some parts of the site are open, but having it be a walled garden has many competitive advantages (e.g. Facebook “owns” all of the user data and advertising access to those users).
- Partner with large, established Fortune 500 firms. Out of the four listed ideas here, this would be the most effective one to implement because in small business and corporate america, Facebook is looked at as a bit of a nuisance. It is seen as having little productive value. However, through partnership Facebook can work to quickly change the perception and transform Facebook into a multi-faceted tool, that is both for socializing, as well as being productive. For instance, Facebook Apps would be developed to replace the standard Microsoft Office suite and “live inside” of the Facebook ecosystem.
Do you think the future of Facebook is really total domination of the internet? Is this even possible?
Add your thoughts below.