FB > GOOG ?
October 12, 2010 9:06 AM   Subscribe

How Facebook Can Become Bigger In Five Years Than Google Is Today

tl;dr? "Facebook’s TV ad siphoning ($10 billion) + Games ($3 billion) + Places & Pages deals ($10 billion) + Credits & PayPal ($12 billion) + Photos ($1 billion) + Inbox ($1 billion) = over $30 billion in annual revenues five years from now."
posted by gwint (91 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
These are not the predictions that usually surround longevity.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. That article really needs annotating with some more links...
posted by i_cola at 9:10 AM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


the reign time of market leading juggernauts is shrinking. Remember how long IBM was king? Microsoft? now Google fades to FB. Watch how short FB's time at the top will be...
posted by victors at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aw! I thought we had all agreed that in 5 years Facebook would be boarded-up and seedy like abandoned mall that is Myspace. I was so looking forward to that.
posted by penduluum at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2010 [28 favorites]


Right, but what will the purchasing power of $30 billion USD be in 2015?

A hamburger?

And what is Google's projected revenue in five years?
posted by 256 at 9:16 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh god. I would take anything techcrunch is selling with a suspicious eye to put it mildly.
posted by justgary at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2010


I wonder how this all turns out...

Google: "Don't be evil" = "Actually, we're evil"

Facebook: "They gave me passwords to emails and chatlogs... Can you believe those stupid fucks?" = "I can't believe they made a movie about me... I'll show them. I'm going to be GOOD!"
posted by KokuRyu at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Maybe.. Seems like dreaming to me though.

victors, what do you mean by "King"? IBM is a $100 billion company. Microsoft is a $62 billion company. Is Google showing any signs at all of "fading"?
posted by Chuckles at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure that facebook will soon go the way of friendster and myspace.
posted by empath at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have to agree with penduluum.. I'm not seeing any reason that facebook won't follow in the footsteps of the other huge internet networking icons... IRC, AOL, GeoCities, MySpace.

Facebook will thrive until some newcomer comes along and sparkles a bit brighter with a new way to assure the insecure that they have friends and are likeable.

I also don't see comparing Facebook with Google...apples and oranges other than the fact they both have bank accounts.
posted by HuronBob at 9:19 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder how big FB would have to become before it had any relevance to me at all. And I'm a web developer.
posted by lifeless at 9:19 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


now Google fades to FB

I don't think you have any concept of how vast a company Google is at this point, and how much the world depends on it. Facebook is a toy.
posted by empath at 9:20 AM on October 12, 2010 [16 favorites]


As an ad platform, compared to Google, Facebook is laughably amateurish.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:20 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


For many consumers, Facebook is the Web.

*sighAOL*
posted by stbalbach at 9:23 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


My Finnish coworker is giving up his Nokia for a new Android phone. He's signed up already and they haven't arrived yet.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:25 AM on October 12, 2010


How do Google and Facebook even make money at all, much less crazy billions? They are both completely free services. I think the advertising business model should be extended to everything until everything is free and there is nothing to advertise anymore, and then things.. uh start costing stuff again... until... look I don't understand the economics. I'm just saying I'll eat free food with a Reebok logo charred onto it, and live in a free house in the shape of a Reebok shoe, and I'll wear free Reeboks with a Nike logo on the side.
posted by dgaicun at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2010 [35 favorites]


At least Google doesn't force you to look at a billion pictures of your acquaintances' kids doing things their parents think you are dying to see.
posted by digsrus at 9:28 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really get these rivalries. I mean, Microsoft primarily makes its money off of Office software and operating systems. Google primarily makes their money off of web applications and search utilities with online advertising. While Google makes office (web) apps and a (very thin) operating system, and Microsoft makes a search engine and web apps (albeit not very popular), they seem to co-exist fairly well. Google can't beat Microsoft at their own game, and Microsoft can't beat Google's expertise, either.

Google and Microsoft's forays into social networking have been kind of middling. Google does have some social networks that are successful overseas, but they purchased them from startups, rather than designing them themselves. There was Google Wave, which had potential, but unfortunately was too complicated and unstructured for anyone outside of Google to really fall in love with.

Meanwhile, Facebook found a winning design and has quickly added relevant features that make it better (relationship statuses, the wall, photo and video sharing that's good for sharing with friends, if not the whole internet).

I guess what I'm saying is that Facebook might get bigger than Google, but I don't see how that matters to anyone aside from shareholders. Unless Facebook develops a better website to share viral videos, runs a better webmail client (not their weak walled garden messaging), makes significantly better and more profitable web advertising, or runs a search engine, I see the two giants more or less peacefully coexisting.

Besides, co-operation seems to make for better products on the internet. Who wants an Android phone that forces you to use the developer's social network? Or a Windows 7 Phone that forces you to use Bing?

The trick seems to be to find one thing you can do better than anyone else and expand on it. Not to develop a bunch of weak me-too apps that compete with everyone. Considering that most web apps can be had for the price of "free," the best one will win and get the ad revenue to develop while others languish. We're entering an age of specialization.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:29 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Four years ago I presciently made this comment:

Myspace will be difficult to dislodge from the top dog position because everyone who would like "something like myspace" is already on myspace, and has invested a lot of time and effort into it.

I'm confident that Facebook's place is secured because everyone who would like something like Facebook is already on Facebook and has invested a lot of time and effort into it.

I'll get it right one of these times.
posted by justkevin at 9:30 AM on October 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


I don't hold any particular grudge against Google. Don't trust them, but don't despise them. Facebook, though? I hope it dies in a fire.

I think a whole lot of people feel that way about Facebook. The moment something even a fraction more trustworthy or less sleazy comes along, I expect most everyone will jump ship.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 AM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


>dgaicun

Have you seen Water from FarmVille at 7/11, which comes with credits for the Facebook app? Eventually, every real good will come from a Facebook app, meaning that actual commodities will sponsor Facebook, in exchange for virtual goods. Eventually, there will be a virtual world paired with the real world, both equally robust and profiting from each other.

Things won't be free, but we won't care. In exchange for that sandwich, we'll get credits to buy a ham for SandwichZone, the third most popular real-time sandwich shop simulation from Zynga. And did you just get an operation on your spleen? Good news! Your doctor slips you a card with a code on it. You now have a few free denials for Trauma Center Online: HMO Hero.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:35 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, Facebook is a toy. Google is something you use to do things, Facebook is what you do instead of watching TV to kill time. TV isn't about you, but the constant stream of gratification coming towards you that's called a friend feed is. That's sort of the point.

I don't think the article is off base. It's also not saying that Facebook definitely will be bigger than Google, or that Facebook definitely won't shrivel up and die like MySpace (still not 100% dead by the way, I still give Rupert ad views sometimes when I look up bands), but it's saying that it could. If they're willing to monetize more directly then there's a fuck-load of money that they stand to make. More than they even do.

Facebook and Google have fairly seperate areas of the internet - if you want knowledge you go to Google, if you want entertainment you go to Facebook, but look at Facebook Answers... it's something that they're honing in on.

In a certain sense Facebook isn't competing with just Google or just Twitter or just Myspace -- Facebook is competing with the Internet. It wants to be the place that aggregates everything you do. You don't really go to other sites, you set them up as applications, or services, and they come directly to your friend feed. Suddenly everything you do is either done on Facebook, or is represented in proxy through it. That's where the money is, in subverting the current open structure of the net, and becoming it's replacement. If I was Zuckerberg I would be throwing a lot of money against net neutrallity.

Also, I wish there was a new thread for The Social Network, because I really want to talk about it. This probably isn't the right thread though.
posted by codacorolla at 9:37 AM on October 12, 2010


AOL keyword Facebook?
posted by fuq at 9:37 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


That would be the same Google as the one developing driverless cars, would it? Or the one developing its own inflation index?
posted by Electric Dragon at 9:38 AM on October 12, 2010


Actually, come to think of it, why not expand Minecraft to have really tiny voxels and all the real world elements and make it into a Facebook app? You buy some uranium from United Nuclear, and you also get some in-game, letting your disenfranchized miner build a bomb to take out that creeper spawner once and for all, simultaneously strip-mining the mountain and creating a nice quarry swimmin' hole in the crater once the fallout dies down.

I wouldn't normally buy uranium, but if it saves me time mining in game, I'd do it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2010


That's where the money is, in subverting the current open structure of the net, and becoming it's replacement.

Isn't that Apple's goal?
posted by Electric Dragon at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Three years ago, many MeFites thought Facebook could be replaced at any time (in the discussion of Microsoft paying $240m for a 1.6% stake in Facebook). The list of 1,000 most-visited sites on the web is interesting, as FB has 10x the pageviews of #3 (Yahoo.com), but only 1.2x the unique visitors. People stay on Facebook, viewing images from friends, checking comments and messages, playing games. If Facebook is a toy, it's a multi-function toy, keeping many more people engaged than other sites.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: if you're a certain type of person in what used to be called the white collar middle class then Facebook has you by the social-short-hairs. That's some pretty strong market leverage. Even when Facebook stops being cool (it already has, honestly) you have a lot of people who don't care about technology, who don't care about privacy, and who don't care about the future of the Internet with no reasonable motivation to switch networks. And those people are your friends. What's the purpose of social networking without friends?
posted by codacorolla at 9:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still hoping something more open and privacy-friendly replaces Facebook. Ideally with a bunch of nice desktop and phone apps stemming from an API so that I can cache my friend's profiles for viewing offline. It'd be so much better than my phone's wimpy phonebook.

I really hope those Diaspora kids know what they're doing. And change the awful name.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:42 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guys, the point is that periods of explosive exponential growth— like Facebook is undergoing now — are unlikely to ever end. If anything, this dude's predictions are a little understated. I think Facebook will have 12 billion members in 5 years, and revenues will be in the tens of brazillions of dollars.
posted by Mister_A at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


I imagine whatever replaces Facebook will at least have some sort of Facebook proxy, just to communicate with the stragglers who don't want to bother with a new network. So Facebook won't die, it'll just be assimilated.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2010


And change the awful name.

In terms of social network, a loaded term that's often used to describe the horrific enslavement and colonization of millions of people is if not peppy, then at least accurate.
posted by codacorolla at 9:45 AM on October 12, 2010


Three years ago, many MeFites thought Facebook could be replaced at any time

It still can be, and easily. Everything on facebook that is valuable (your friends list and photos) belongs to you and you can take it with you when you leave. All it will take is something that's enough an improvement on facebook that it's worth the 5 minute it takes to set up an account and transfer your friends list over.
posted by empath at 9:45 AM on October 12, 2010


Mister_A, think about this. Facebook was first only for Harvard students. Then it expanded to a few more universities. Then all universities. Then the high schools. And then they let younger kids and adults join. Most of the Earth now qualifies, but if they add a binary language Facebook interface, AIs can join. I think it's safe to say that AIs developed within the next 5 years will be more social than existing AIs. They will want to have a way to organize their friends and coordinate meetups and share photos. They'd probably be best off using Flickr and Gmail, quite honestly, but they aren't going to be that smart.

Then, there's Mark Zuckerberg saying "Hey, I've got a real cool page that all the cool humans and constructs are using. You don't want to fall out of touch, do you?"

What algorithm could resist that pitch?

After that, Facebook develops a high-latency page written purely in mathematical proofs (the universal language) and beams it out at planets likely to contain life. Alien lifeforms join, and use it to communicate with us and form long distance relationships with the humans of Earth, and then become enthralled by facebook and demand a license of the code to set up their own server. Mark Zuckerberg says "No. Bring me over, give me your secrets to lightspeed travel and immortal life, and then I'll hook you guys up with a local, low latency server."

It will be the bargain of the solar megacycle for the aliens.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:49 AM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


In the technology world, the biggest companies are just there. Oracle, Google, SAP AG, CSC, IBM, Accenture... Facebook is a joke next to them.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:50 AM on October 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure that facebook will soon go the way of friendster and myspace.

In terms of respect for the dead, what's the opposite of a grand viking funeral? Because that's what I want to have on the day Facebook finally goes away. I thought I disliked Myspace, but Facebook really showed me how much I could actively dislike an online service.
posted by quin at 9:52 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wait a second. Mark Zuckerberg is kind of a jerk for paying those schools in Newark with cash instead of Facebook stocks. I mean, Facebook credits are bound to become the dominant international currency, meaning that the schools will have to either stick with the rapidly deflating dollar, or pay money to Facebook to get the stable and slowly growing value of the Facebook credit.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:53 AM on October 12, 2010


$1B for Facebook Inbox? Really? A billion dollars from an email platform? Or a billion dollars from their photo sharing section? No.

Seriously, not ever.
posted by GuyZero at 9:55 AM on October 12, 2010


I think a whole lot of people feel that way about Facebook. The moment something even a fraction more trustworthy or less sleazy comes along, I expect most everyone will jump ship.

As soon as Diaspora is up and running, I'm there. I don't expect any of my FB friends to follow me though.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, predicting email revenues at $1B by going $20 times 50 million users, voila! is the stupidest analysis of a market I've ever read.
posted by GuyZero at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, I'll bite on this one. Facebook is still going to fall within 5 years. There is one simple reason: everyone's parents are on it. If you haven't seen the trends before you will notice it goes like this:

Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.

AOL. Myspace. Facebook. It's inevitable.

***: Facebook is currently here. This is coincidentally the point where it's worth the most money and Zucky should sell all of his shares, put his money in his Scrooge McDuck vault and start swimming.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:58 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think Facebook should create an exclusive network for just college students again to upset the high schoolers and old people.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:00 AM on October 12, 2010


I thought this was a fun little way of looking at things:

Why does everyone think that Facebook has won the social networking game and that no one else should even try to make a better social network? They only have a 600 million person head start; that’s less than a tenth of the planet, people.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:02 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. ***

Where did the nerds leave for?
posted by smackfu at 10:03 AM on October 12, 2010


MegaFiller
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mister Fabulous: "Okay, I'll bite on this one. Facebook is still going to fall within 5 years. There is one simple reason: everyone's parents are on it. If you haven't seen the trends before you will notice it goes like this:

Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.

AOL. Myspace. Facebook. It's inevitable.

***: Facebook is currently here. This is coincidentally the point where it's worth the most money and Zucky should sell all of his shares, put his money in his Scrooge McDuck vault and start swimming.
"

You have made me happy after a day for frustration and anger. I want to go to Bolivia with you.

Mister Fabulous: "Okay, I'll bite on this one. Facebook is still going to fall within 5 years. There is one simple reason: everyone's parents are on it. If you haven't seen the trends before you will notice it goes like this:

Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.

AOL. Myspace. Facebook. It's inevitable.

***: Facebook is currently here. This is coincidentally the point where it's worth the most money and Zucky should sell all of his shares, put his money in his Scrooge McDuck vault and start swimming.
"



You have made me happy after a day of frustration and anger. I want to go to Bolivia with you.
posted by Splunge at 10:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh god. I would take anything techcrunch is selling with a suspicious eye to put it mildly.
I realize that lots of people dislike techcrunch, but that isn't a very good example. The bloggers is just bitching about how Arrington isn't slobbering all over apple and and blaming AT&T for poor phone call quality. But who's fault is it that Apple's phone is an AT&T exclusive? Apple's, obviously.

---

Anyway, this kind of hype is just total nonsense. It also assumes that Google will stop growing and won't ever be able to figure out how to compete with facebook. Their attempts have been hilarious failures (buzz) but they may keep trying. Or something else might come along. Or Whatever.
posted by delmoi at 10:09 AM on October 12, 2010


Hmmm... I don't know what happened there. But the offer still stands.
posted by Splunge at 10:10 AM on October 12, 2010


> Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.

You forgot "corporations jump on enthusiastically, loading it with ads and messaging" right before "nerds leave".
posted by chavenet at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.

So while I don't think facebook is going to explode orgasmically like this blogger thinks, you're basically saying the network effect has been undone. Which isn't likely to be true.

Facebook is the new de facto photo sharing platform. I know all you cool kids love Flickr but if you just want to share snaps with friends & family and leave witty comments, Facebook has it sewn up.

Facebook will make a lot of money from online click-click-click games. Possibly billions. Whether they become the only people to monetize this market remains to be seen.
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2010


Facebook is like the mall. It is for the kind of people who like to hang out in malls. People who go to malls don't care about the quality of product or the capitalist corporations behind the stores they shop at. They like the mall because its brightly lit and everything is all in one place, easy to find. Every town has the old mall the people used to go to (Myspace, etc.) that's now decrepit and creepy. But now everyone goes to the new mall: Facebook.

All of you decrying Facebook and proclaiming it's imminent death: when was the last time you hung out at the mall?

The internet used to be like a weird strip mall on the edge of town. It wasn't all that popular, and it was frequented by crazy, skeevy people. There was a thrift store, a dive bar, and a Dollar Store. You could just hang out and find a bunch of weird shit. People might have been crazy, but they knew what they were talking about most of the time. You could find some real treasure amongst all that weird, old crap. But there was no quality control, and you always had to hunt for what you wanted.

But that weird strip mall never made any money, so there's the new mall.
posted by fryman at 10:14 AM on October 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


As soon as Diaspora is up and running, I'm there.

And there's that false dichotomy again. Diaspora will not be good simply by virtue of being "Not Facebook," just like OpenOffice frankly sucks compared to Microsoft's equivalent product, no matter how loudly the F/OSS community screams to the contrary.

From my cursory understanding of the Diaspora project, it would be exceedingly kind to refer to the core developers as a group of delusional amateurs. In order to for it to work, it will need to offer a large and tangible improvement over Facebook, be comprehensible to non-geeks, and be able to integrate with existing social networks during the transition period. As far as I can tell, Diaspora does not even plan to accomplish any of those goals.

They've also made a number of rather embarrassing screw-ups such as uploading their database passwords to the source repositories.


I'm also a bit puzzled as to why it's suddenly become fashionable to throw Google and Facebook under the bus. Both companies are far better than their predecessors or competitors. Zuckerberg's a tool, and Facebook have made some awful decisions in terms of privacy and monetization, but they really do seem to be back on the right track, and have usually addressed such criticisms in a timely manner. My long-term memory is good enough to remember that such a practice would have been virtually unheard of 5 years ago. Yeah, it's not perfect, but Zuckerberg isn't exactly Darth Vader.
posted by schmod at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nerds start it. Young people get hooked. Gain intense popularity. Nerds leave. Everyone else joins it. *** Young people leave. Older generation is left, and they lose interest. It dies.
Facebook was never a nerd thing. The thing that made zuck so lucky is that he started it at Harvard, where one of the things that makes going to harvard important is the ability to network and of course FB tapped into that. And of course people from other ivy schools would want to be friends with harvardites and so on. I doubt FB would have become what it became if it were started at a big-10 school. But I suppose anything's possible.
Google does have some social networks that are successful overseas, but they purchased them from startups, rather than designing them themselves.
I forgot about Orkut, but Google didn't buy that, it was started as a '20% project' by some random guy.
posted by delmoi at 10:25 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


AOL. Myspace. Facebook. It's inevitable.

I think this line of argument is ignoring how much AOL and Myspace sucked. Where Facebook is really not that bad.
posted by smackfu at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I forgot about Orkut, but Google didn't buy that, it was started as a '20% project' by some random guy.

A random guy named Orkut. It's pretty easy to remember who built it - he named it after himself.
posted by GuyZero at 10:34 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Facebook is the new de facto photo sharing platform. I know all you cool kids love Flickr but if you just want to share snaps with friends & family and leave witty comments, Facebook has it sewn up.

I realized the other day that I haven't uploaded anything to Flickr in a dog's age since everything I would put on there has already been shared and tagged on FaceBook. It was a very, very sad moment for me. I shed a virtual tear.
posted by sonika at 10:35 AM on October 12, 2010


And while Aol is shrinking, it's still has $2.5B in annual revenue, which is more than facebook has.
posted by GuyZero at 10:36 AM on October 12, 2010


Facebook is like the mall. . . (people) like the mall because its brightly lit and everything is all in one place, easy to find.

Except those pesky privacy settings, of course.
posted by jeremias at 10:37 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


victors, what do you mean by "King"? IBM is a $100 billion company. Microsoft is a $62 billion company.

by "king" I mean controlling the platform by which technology moves forward - I mean where the industry invests it's money. What percentage of new technology dollars are being invested in Windows apps today? Compare that percentage to 20 years ago.

Is Google showing any signs at all of "fading"?

Talk to anybody at Google about how they feel about FB. They are pretty nervous about FB's influence over how people use the Internet and how technology is reshaped by that new usage. Arguably, the most valuable piece of data out there right now are the usage patterns and the longer we spend in FB, the less power G has.

FB is a toy

If 600 million users, trending toward 1 billion, who consider you to be an essential portal to the internet is a toy, then one of us has grossly miscalculated the terrain.
posted by victors at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


All of you decrying Facebook and proclaiming it's imminent death: when was the last time you hung out at the mall? ... They like the mall because its brightly lit and everything is all in one place, easy to find.

They like the mall because it's a third place. Starbucks is a third place. Your neighborhood pub is a third place for adults. A playground is a third-place for kids.

Facebook is the third place of the Internet.

Third places get REplaced when they don't offer anything meaningful for you. When was the last time you hung out in front of a 7-Eleven?

That's why people are predicting a death (or rather, a downturn) for Facebook. If Facebook is really, really smart and really, really lucky, they'll remain ubiquitous. Otherwise, they'll be MySpace -- still turning a profit, but not printing money.

That's why the "less than a tenth of the planet" line made me laugh. 7-Elevens are found everywhere in the U.S. But Japan has more 7-Elevens than anyplace else in the world.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:47 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Facebook will die just like myspace and friendster, we just won't realize it because we'll be too busy jabbering about the next big social networking site.
posted by tehloki at 10:52 AM on October 12, 2010


MySpace -- still turning a profit, but not printing money.

In News Corp 2010 10-K the company segment that includes MySpace had a "segment operating income (loss)" of (575) - which mean that MySpace's division lost $575M last financial year, up from a loss of $363M the year before.

Exactly why do you think MySpace turns a profit?
posted by GuyZero at 10:53 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really get these rivalries.

Not enough nerds follow sports teams.
posted by i_cola at 11:02 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where's Ray Kurzweil when we need him? Once the internet/nanobots/cellular phone technology has us develop telepathy and a connection to a synthetic collective unconscious, we will most certainly no longer be dependent on Facebook.

Unless Facebook runs that collective unconsciousness, but then we will be linked to it and everyone on it, and our minds will inexorably overlap with Mark Zuckerberg's. Meaning that we will all be intellectual owners of Facebook, to some degree.

Unless it works so that we have to friend him first to get in his head. And I'm not sure I'd want to be friends with a guy who called me a dumb fuck for sharing my chatlog, password, and email with him. That was uncalled for ;_;
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:04 AM on October 12, 2010


Exactly why do you think MySpace turns a profit?

There's profit and there's profit. MySpace is owned by News Corporation, which no one thinks is exactly hurting for money.

But if you want to get silly and pedantic in a casual conversation, sure, why not?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:06 AM on October 12, 2010


Hmm, anyone ever look at Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page? I always assumed he'd stay off of it, because he knows how the sausage is made, but apparently he has an account because at the end of The Social Network SPOILERZ SPOILERZ SPOILERZ he friend requests his ex-girlfriend SPOILERZ SPOILERZ SPOILERZ.

Anyway, I decided to check it out, and I think I found the real one. Bio: "I'm trying to make the world a more open place."

Facepalm.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:07 AM on October 12, 2010


victors, what do you mean by "King"? IBM is a $100 billion company. Microsoft is a $62 billion company. Is Google showing any signs at all of "fading"?

Yabbut that's sales. If you look at market capitalization - the value of the company to the stockmarket - Microsoft is $214billion and IBM is a mere $176billion.
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2010


But if you want to get silly and pedantic in a casual conversation, sure, why not?

It's not pedantic. News Corp pays money generated by other business units to keep the lights on at Myspace. As a standalone business, MS would be hemorrhaging money. FB is profitable.

There's no comparison between them in terms of financial performance, just like how Microsoft loses $300M annually on Bing while Google pretty much prints money.

Certainly News Corp is profitable, but if you're comparing apples to apples and trying to measure success by financial measures, MySpace is a huge loser.
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Facebook has a pretty solid moat around it, maybe not the deepest or widest. I think of it as having solved the 'liquidity' problem. In my business, markets struggle to gain share until they have enough 'liquidity.' People won't trade there until there are enough people who trade there. FB the same way, its a site that has no value until enough people are there to be interesting and unseating an incumbent in this position, while not impossible, is pretty hard.
posted by sfts2 at 11:15 AM on October 12, 2010


Zuckerberg's a tool, and Facebook have made some awful decisions in terms of privacy and monetization, but they really do seem to be back on the right track, and have usually addressed such criticisms in a timely manner.

Ok.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:18 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know, given the number of updates in it, that post does seems to show them addressing criticisms in a timely manner.
posted by smackfu at 11:24 AM on October 12, 2010


I joined Facebook when my kids were still on LiveJournal, b/c I was teaching college and I saw that my students were putting really dumb things online. I joined so I could show them how easy it was for someone not in their circle to find their dumb stuff. The main reaction was, "wow, Mr. S., YOU'RE on Facebook?" followed by tens of friend requests.

Then family and friends and old classmates joined, and finally even old AOL friends hit me up for the friend status. None of that presented a problem for me.

What killed Facebook for me was having to wade through tons of cosmic debris every time I opened FB. Friends & associates poking me or wanting me to play some game. Ugh. I hate it. I don't think the techcrunch guy is very sophisticated in his analysis, but he's probably right in his understanding that ad dollars will flow to FaceBook like manna to the desert wanderers.

Still, I use Google every day, and for a variety of reasons (searches, apps, maps, mostly) and I rarely crack open FaceBook. I don't wish it a fiery death or anything--I just don't care.

Special circumstances--I am in the demographic segment that advertisers don't give two shits about and I'll be dead or drooling before FaceBook replaces TV for me. But by god, if they stopped cable/TV and replaced it all with the internets, I'd go nuts. Scratch that, I go read (more) books.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2010


GuyZero wrote "Facebook is the new de facto photo sharing platform. I know all you cool kids love Flickr but if you just want to share snaps with friends & family and leave witty comments, Facebook has it sewn up."

yeah, unless you want to easily share the photos outside of Facebook, or want something like a simple, non-annoying-as-hell method of organizing your photos (read: NOT making changes one at a time), or want some way of getting full-resolution images, or want EXIF data so you can see how your friend got that great shot, or want some way of uploading photos that is less painful than bashing your head through a wall. Facebook sucks at all of these things. For pete's sake, Facebook uses square user icons but doesn't have a crop tool that retains a square aspect ratio. If you don't want your aspect ratio all skewed as hell you need to crop the photo yourself in a real editor like MS Paint, which can at least make a square.

So yeah, like all the cool kids I use Flickr, and like all the cool kids I am slightly ashamed that Yahoo owns it. I will occasionally post one or two quick cell phone shots to Facebook but mostly I just add links to my Flickr site. No one has to wade through piles of "HEY HEY YOU NEED TO JOIN AND HEY WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME OR HEY YOU SHOULD ASK THIS GUY TO FRIEND YOU OR WHAT?" just to see my photos.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:28 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Posting something on Facebook means it's easy to share, but only with your friends. Everyone gets that.

I don't think Facebook wants to pay for the bandwidth of having user's content go viral.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2010


I'm also a bit puzzled as to why it's suddenly become fashionable to throw Google and Facebook under the bus. Both companies are far better than their predecessors or competitors. Zuckerberg's a tool, and Facebook have made some awful decisions in terms of privacy and monetization, but they really do seem to be back on the right track, and have usually addressed such criticisms in a timely manner.
posted by schmod at 12:16 PM on October 12


Yeah, I don't care if they respond to my criticisms in a timely manner if their response is basically, "oh, I'm so sorry... let me do that exact same thing all over again." How many times has Facebook changed their settings so stuff I previously had set to "friends only" (or some subset of that) has defaulted to "public" and I've had to go in and change it? I've lost count. I still use it because there's nowhere else to go, but I use it on the assumption that everything I put up is publicly viewable despite my privacy settings.

As for Google, yeah, it's objectively a better search engine. I still use it. But I use Goodsearch first (and then Google as a backup for when Goodsearch fails, which is about half the time, because it about half sucks). So why don't I like them? They infringed my copyright.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mark Zuckerberg is unfriendable on Facebook. Waah. But he is like-able, in the sense that you can like him or be interested in him. So, I guess he's transcended personhood and become an abstract concept.

The guy makes over a billion and suddenly he's too good for us proles.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2010


Hmm, anyone ever look at Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page?
Anyway, I decided to check it out, and I think I found the real one. Bio: "I'm trying to make the world a more open place."
Facepalm.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:07 AM on October 12 [+] [!]


For someone so "open" he's sure using a lot of privacy settings on his facebook page.
posted by smartypantz at 11:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


The guy makes over a billion and suddenly he's too good for us proles.

Ahhh, but he's as subject to being held accountable as anyone else. That's partially what the Social Network was about to me. Zuckerberg did some stupid stuff as a kid, posted it online, and 6 years later it comes back to haunt him as one of the biggest public tear-downs ever. He doesn't look good in that movie. At the end of the film the character basically turns to the camera and says "I'm not really an asshole," and maybe he isn't, but it doesn't matter. His reputation can be trashed by oversharing just like mine or yours can. That's the world that we live in now. It's why the last shot of the movie is Zuckerberg compulsively refreshing the (I thought it was the lawyer's, but maybe it was his ex's) page. He's as much a thrall as anyone is.
posted by codacorolla at 11:52 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was the ex's page. I was amused yet saddened that she used Facebook, despite having a (completely warranted) grudge against the founder. And she would obviously know he started it, because her school was one of the first to get it, back when Zuckerberg was running it out of his dorm (according to the movie).

I know people who don't use Facebook on principle. People in college, the target demo for Facebook. I would think she, of all people, would be against it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:05 PM on October 12, 2010


Our company does a lot of business on and through Facebook.

It is tempting to pontificate about what Facebook is, will be, and should become.

What I think they have done very well, and am becoming more and more convinced of, is that they are well on the way to cracking, or having cracked, the problem of publishing in the digital age.

What Facebook is more than anything is a 21st century magazine. Facebook is a publication. It has personals, puzzles, tidbits, an events calendar, and a staff that you can to relate to - namely your friends and acquaintances. They have done it very well and their success is well-deserved, just like that of IBM and (to a lesser extent) Microsoft. But that is about the only thing these companies have in common.

The idea that Facebook will eat Google is silly. Google is an infrastructure provider - more of a printer. It is not unthinkable that Google will at some point do the hosting and/or advertising for Facebook.
posted by eeeeeez at 12:06 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So if Facebook revenues grow by $30 billion, they'll be bigger than Google?

Funny, but if MY revenue grows by $30 billion, I'll be bigger than Google too!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:30 PM on October 12, 2010


The idea that Facebook will eat Google is silly. Google is an infrastructure provider - more of a printer. It is not unthinkable that Google will at some point do the hosting and/or advertising for Facebook.

Both companies are positioning themselves as a platform for internet development and both sell user behavior as a commodity to advertisers. This is major battleground stuff. Neither would be satisfied simply providing services to the other in the foreseeable future.
posted by victors at 1:24 PM on October 12, 2010


All you complaining about Farmville et all updates, have you not heard you can use your Ignore button to hide those particular app updates? Some of my "friends" never appear on my page because all of their updates are Farmville or Vampire Mafia or SparkleHeartAngelPonies or whatever.

I was really into FB the last year or so, but the bloom is kind of off lately. Turns out lots of the people I got in touch with years later/distant relatives are super boring. Or Tea Party types.

It's started to feel like that point in the family gathering when everyone is smiling and holding their melting drinks, trying to think of something else to say, and failing.

Right now my only joy is posting liberal/leftist links because I know it will bother some of them, but that gets old.
posted by emjaybee at 1:24 PM on October 12, 2010


There was a version of Facebook called Facebook Lite that pretty much reduced its functionality to Twitter with better profile pages, integrated photos and comments on status updates. No apps or wall updates from apps. I liked it, but it was so slim at the time I tried it, you couldn't even share links on a friend's wall.

It appears to be in a closed beta now, though.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:30 PM on October 12, 2010


I think they killed the Lite version. It was supposed to be lower bandwidth too, with a lot less Ajaxy javascript, and aimed at places with bad internet.
posted by smackfu at 1:35 PM on October 12, 2010


Facebook is like the mall. . . (people) like the mall because its brightly lit and everything is all in one place, easy to find.

That, and your mother is nearby waiting to embarrass you in front of the other teens.
posted by benzenedream at 1:50 PM on October 12, 2010


From my cursory understanding of the Diaspora project, it would be exceedingly kind to refer to the core developers as a group of delusional amateurs. In order to for it to work, it will need to offer a large and tangible improvement over Facebook, be comprehensible to non-geeks, and be able to integrate with existing social networks during the transition period. As far as I can tell, Diaspora does not even plan to accomplish any of those goals.

No offense, but your cursory understanding sucks.

What makes you think it will be incomprehensible? Its current interface is pretty much identical to Facebook's. And should that change, it will still be no more incomprehensible to the FB generation than FB was to the Myspace generation.

Also, one of their slated goals as always been integration with other social networks, and from their pre-Alpha release blog post they appear to be working on just that.
Things we are working on next for our Alpha in October:

Facebook Integration
Internationalization
Data Portability
posted by tybeet at 3:20 PM on October 12, 2010


Where did the nerds leave for?

Twitter! Seriously though, I don't think they left, they just lost interest. My problem with this is that he assumes that growth in Facebook will grow like Google did. An anology: My lemonade stand made $1 yesterday. Today it made $10. At this rate of growth, in 5 years my lemonade stand will be worth more than Microsoft! Doesn't make sense. Also, he underestimates where Google is going to be in 5 years. They have invested a lot of money into building out future revenue sources, such as in phones, tablets and cloud services. Even if none of that succeeds, search is not going away. As more of the world comes online, and their disposable income grows, Google's profits will continue to rise. Google is a well run company with a lot of skilled engineers that provides a service that is crucial to the net. As someone said above, Facebook is a toy.
posted by sophist at 9:43 PM on October 12, 2010


Have you seen Water from FarmVille at 7/11

NO ....

Oh, how I have tried to ignore it, all those stupid game requests, but now Farmville's at the damn 7/11. It's like kudzu and needs to be burned with flamethrowers now before it starts creeping into the real world any further.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:19 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are we talking about Facebook generation now? After how long?

Yahoo 2.0, man.
posted by JHarris at 5:48 AM on October 13, 2010


What about Twitter? And the next big thing? (And the next...)
posted by benacheson at 7:16 AM on October 27, 2010


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