You know, every other day, a post is coming up on Google Plus. How is going to change the ecosystem, how is it going to beat the hell out of other social networks and this and that and this again. So much so, that I have believed in the huuuuge potential of Google Plus and stopped reading those posts now!
I am not going to debate here which one is better, Facebook or Google Plus.
I am here to put forward my opinion on why Facebook will not go down. Well, it’s internet and everything is as predictable as a fish living 100 years out of water! So I will re-phrase it a bit and say, Why Facebook will not succumb, just yet.
- Always evolving: Have you seen The Social Network? Facebook DID NOT start as a company. Mark Zuckerberg kept on evolving with the site, and therein lies the difference. He was ready to change, ready to adapt, ready to take risks.
- Thinking Big: The dream is BIG. The dream was always big. The goal is clear. Facebook wants to control all you do or can do on Internet related to you. Imagine how personalized search would become if a network has your choices calibrated. (Not something I am in favour of or I approve of)
- The base: You know once you reach a critical mass in business, you start reaping the benefits of multiplier effect. The surge in number of users is experiencing multiplier effect. You don’t get Facebook sold to you. You come to it. You come on board. I do not have the latest figures but last I knew, it was hovering around 600 million and the debate is, can it reach 1 billion users by the end of this year? Check this article of Paul Sawers here for The Next Web.
- The next wave: You hear people in developed market talking about Privacy and how Facebook is intruding in a “wrong” way in their lives. Facebook’s biggest market is United States of America which contributes to more than 60% of the users. There is a fantastic infographic in Daily Mail’s August 10 issue. See it here. This shows how the fever has gripped the countries across the world. There are people itching to get onto Facebook. Privacy concerns, strangers and all are too high on the value chain for them.
- Services: You had MySpace and you had (have?) Orkut. All including Facebook were (are?) activity sharing services. Why Facebook succeeded and is succeeding and others failed was the evolution. The company has a valuation of $70 Billion and pretty big as of now. It would rank as the 3rd biggest country on the planet if its users are considered as citizen. It is still changing. Everyday, everytime.
- Pioneering: One of the problems of being an Industry Leader is, you have no one to look up to. There is no benchmarking. You can’t “emulate” anything. You’re the engine. You are the one to show the direction. That my friend, breeds innovation. The need to stay relevant is pushing the company to delve into territories the others did not venture into. Facebook Places! Facebook Deals! Groups. They succeed or not is not the question here. The point is, the company is future ready it gives its investors the confidence that the model is viable and very much in vogue.
- Developers: Till 2 years back, Farmville had more users than Twitter. It’s a different thing that Twitter’s growth was on the different trajectory altogether. This comparison is nothing but to show what could a developer achieve with Facebook. Zynga (Farmville’s creator) is targeting a $20 Billion valuation.
- Pages: Pages will be one of the reasons to keep Facebook afloat. The companies have got pages and the brand interaction is so deeply integrated. Never before, companies were able to interact with customers so “one-on-one”. Social Media Marketing gained traction, rather, I would go as far as saying that, got initiated with Facebook at a massive scale.
Well, these are my thoughts. This is what I feel. One more thing which is one of the determining factors for Facebook’s success is Mark Zuckerberg himself. He has created the site but he is not just a technocrat. He understands the business and knows the management. You rarely see technocrats as successful leaders but when you do, you see success everywhere. Let’s not go far. Let’s have Steve Jobs as another example.
This is what I think. Well, that just sums this up.