This is it people, the beginning of the end of Facebook. Today they announced they are filing for an IPO and I predict that going public will be the worst move they ever made. Driving home I heard marketplace on NPR talking about it. Kai Ryssdal says “And that means they have to grow all the time.” They followed that up with a piece about people not clicking ads because they are generally concerned about getting a virus or being spammed. Facebook makes money selling our information and ads, if the uptick in new users has flat lined and a large segment of the populous can not be convinced to click on those ads, then where is the avenue for growth.
Facebook has surely studied what happened to MySpace. To recap, Rupert Murdoch bought it up and pumped it full of ads. People abandoned it. Because of such low barriers to competition the internet is a fickle place. Straight from Facebook’s S-1 to IPO filing “If we fail to retain existing users or add new users, or if our users decrease their level of engagement with Facebook, our revenue, financial results, and business may be significantly harmed.” That kind of honesty has to be respected though. Mark Zuckerberg has made facebook a giant but when he has to betray his gut for growth, the whole thing will unravel.
A List of Bad Ideas for Facebook
- Subscription level service
- Facebook buys Groupon or partners with a banking institution and invades our privacy too deeply via our wallet
- Any sort of trophy system, i.e. badges, points, authority distinction
- Revisiting the friends purchases as news concept, couldn’t find an article on it but I remember it
- And the one that will drive people away the quickest, forcing us to look at an ad before we get to use the site
I’ll try to revisit this if any of those happen.