the grass is greener on the internet


If I were Facebook
August 30, 2010, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

A random thought came to me today about the future revenue potential for Facebook.

Facebook’s main value is the huge volume of users that now habitually use it. It has the power to change daily schedules and the way we interact.

1. Networks that aren’t Facebook have made the mistake of trying to replicate Facebook in the belief that they can then get a similar number of users. They can’t. Once there was Facebook, and it had become the place to store your information and you didn’t want to move.

2. Facebook tried to make money from this value in several ways, each time misunderstanding their value.

  • they wanted to sell the fountain of information – but people came to Facebook to share with people they know, not companies. Privacy alarm bells rang.
  • they wanted to sell ad space because of all the eyeballs they have – but people are only interested in the content their network has generated, and very few companies are finding the ads effective.

Facebook was trying to sell what they’d already managed to capture, but their users didn’t want to be sold.

3. Facebook’s REAL value is in the huge realm of possibility that is created when lots of people are in the same space. It’s not about trying to pick parts of them individually but putting them together in new ways.

Let’s take the business community, for example. A general group of people that would pay to be connected in smarter ways, because for them it pays off.

Do you use LinkedIn AND Facebook? It’s inconvenient monitoring both. What if you could easily create professional profiles, picking which content you want to be drawn from your existing profile and which would be different? What if you could be recommended pe0ple to do business with based on your interests as well as industry and location?

Would you pay a nominal fee for that?

Or what about a service where you could send post to Facebook addressed to a username and have it forwarded to the user – so that postal addresses can remain anonymous? (Hard to pull off, but do-able.) It’s another way to make Facebook indispensible for connecting people.

I feel like there’s got to be another way to approach the problem. Thoughts?

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