Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can anything beat Facebook??

If there ever has been a symbol that stands for our generation, our interests, values and aspirations, it has to be the “Like” button from As of today this social networking behemoth has more than 500 mn users and is valued on the secondary market at almost 50 billion dollars and seems to have won the war for the social networking as comprehensively as Google won
the search war. There is an increasing group of people claiming that it is not just the battle for social
networking but is in fact the war for internet dominance once and for all.

From the evolution of time, humans have tended to form communities and live in groups & it is this universal reality that Facebook aims to emulate on the web. But it does not take into account one simple fact. All the communities in our life have been defined by us and we would like to keep them separate. E.g. I would not like my relationship status to go to my mother but would like to send it to my friends. Thus as the social networking online evolves, people would like it to
mimic their real world communities and this is not something that Facebook is good at doing. It tried doing a solution of sorts with Facebook Groups but it did not exactly hit the bull’s eye.

Another aspect of user behavior that is going to come into play is that no one wants to spam their friends every time they discover a social network with better functionality and there is going to be an increasing clamor for contact and information portability that is going to substantially decrease switching costs and make it easier for any new start-up to take on Facebook.

Another part of the web that seems to be slipping away from the control of Facebook is the
open web i.e. sites like twitter where people can be heard and can follow anyone. The implicit model of Facebook does not allow it to do this.

Facebook is a great product and definitely a great business but at the end of the day, like any other business it can be defeated and the best part is that it can be done by any one, well nearly anyone