As I wrote back in 2011 ‘A fickle prospect – ‘Business dependent on the Social Flocking collective’ and then again in July 2012 ‘Facebook and the ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ it looks like Facebook is nothing unique and is reproducing a user analysis declining trend of past failed social media sites.
The article in the Business Insider ‘Why Mobile-First Teens Are A Big Threat To Facebook’ highlights the weakness of the Facebook business model and this in turn points to the complete lack of ANY structured alternative on the Facebook strategic roadmap. This is not however the first time this decline has been reported, ‘New drop in number of UK users’ user fickle attitudes go back to this report in June 2011.
As I have stated before with its hyped IPO Facebook achieved a valuation that allows it to effectively buy a business model. The recent Facebook Home on Android attempt at re-inventing itself as a Mobile device ‘Skin’ seems to have flopped ‘Facebook Home flops, gets terrible reviews’ so where will they throw their next wad of shareholder cash?
However the latest reports do have greater substance, and the failing of the Facebook Home initiative supports this. The analysis reflects maturing use patterns on the internet and the simple nature that Information and collaborative resources are becoming very fragmented in the nature of how users consume them. No single resource satisfies, with the resource platforms recognising this and the need to interact through cross-posting and ‘mash-ups’. This is after all the strength of Cloud Computing and the new Application Programming Interface (API) orientated service environment that is being built out. All of which waters down the traction any single site or vendor is able to have on their audience, placing greater emphasis on DEPTH versus BREADTH of service delivery capability. It is the vendors demonstrating greater domain expertise in DEPTH that are the ones that will retain their niche user base, and those vendors that provide flexible well documented and user friendly API’s to allow third parties to integrate their unique offering instead of trying to compete.
If Facebook had any imagination, instead of copying other ideas and or closing its environment to cross-posting by trying to be all things to all users, it should open up to the new API world. BUT this is where its poor privacy record and attitude to data makes it a dinosaur, and one that will constrain how any API data sharing will benefit the platform. So until Facebook matures its data usage, retention and privacy attitude it is likely to continue to miss out on the next wave of Internet innovation.
That having been said for better or worse the Internet has not heard the last of this Data Privacy predator.