After watching the lackluster performance of the Facebook IPO spectacle, I’m left to wonder if either:
- The investors know something I don’t?
- They’re (once again) looking to jump onto a bandwagon that has historically been going up… but ready to come crashing down?
In fact, 9 out of 10 of the top web IPO’s have lost value since going public. The only one that’s kept is positive grounds is Google. But that’s besides the point of this article. The real thing I want to look at is “why” Facebook may be at the end of it’s ropes.
Privacy concerns, addition of the much loathed “timeline” and now with the need to generate revenue to appease stock holders, I think the biggest key is that Facebook hasn’t really positioned themselves to be “future friendly.”
Take a look at MySpace. Once the pinnacle of social. Purchased by News Corp. in 2005 for $600 million, it’s now worth a fraction of that. And their mobile experience? Notice any similarities to Facebook? There are many!
Mobile is the way of the future and the next social network to become mainstream will be the one which can put mobile first, and not have it as a secondary experience.
Could it be Facebook? MySpace? Google+, Google Glasses? Microsoft??? Microsoft’s Windows 8 is looking pretty sweet for mobile devices! I’m not too sure, but I do know that the next social will take advantage of all sorts of new technologies found in mobile devices. Imagine heading off to grab coffee with a friend. You get there but he/she’s running late. You open your phone and “next gen social app” gives you the ability to ask “where are you?” to which the recipient receives the message, they tap a button which triangulates their location, taps into a mapping application and replies with the exact ETA to get there. Possible? Absolutely, my GPS already does a pretty good job of that!
Further to that, perhaps there’s a coffee house that’s between both of you? Next gen social app informs you that there’s a great little coffee house rated 5 stars and it’ll take you 11 minutes to walk there and your friend will take 12 minutes. Why not meet in the middle – it’ll save some time! Advertisers dream! that little coffee house is paying for the recommendation and it’s an income generation tool. Banner ads evolved!
Or how about being at a book store. You go to an aisle, take a picture of the entire section of books, and up on that photo comes the popularity of each book that your friends recommend and weighted based on your friends, friends recommendations. Not only that, but hooking into an API from the guys over at www.booklamp.org, not only do you get your your close social recommendations based on that photo, but you’ll also get recommendations based on algorithmic responses. In that group of 200 books, a second later, using social data analysis from your friends and technology, your mobile device has informed you what the absolute best match and best book for you to spend your time reading might be.
With all these new advancements though, it seems like the element of “everyday” surprise is slowly fading away.