In last one week we have heard that two big assumption’s which can be true about Facebook. These two rumors are
1. Facebook is buying Opera Software.
2. Facebook is building Facebook smartphone.
Facebook bought Instagram in $1 billion and few days back Facebook has launched the standalone Facebook Camera app. Let’s assume that Facebook will buy Opera software and is building Facebook Smartphone but why? Why in the world Facebook world the biggest networking site want to buy a browser and build a Smartphone?
I think Future is the answer. Larry Page CEO of Google has written an extremely interesting point in a post on Google official blog. People tend to overestimate the short term effect of a technology and underestimate the long term effect of technology. In last five years Internet and way to access internet have changed phenomenally.
1. Data upload and download: The capability of flow of data on Internet has increased phenomenally and internet has become like a Live TV station. The shift in the infrastructure which support internet has developed a completely new form of websites and consumer behavior. Earlier Internet was text based but now we can clearly see that the major characteristic of Internet has become visual based. The phenomenal success of YouTube, Viemo, Pinterest and application like Instagram is clerlly indicating that we have entered in to phase of internet which is going to text+photos+video. The domination of text on internet has phased out. Recently Yahoo launched their new search Yahoo Axis which is presenting the searched website like a picture. People want to share not only through text. People want to share them-self on internet through Pictures and Video and want to use text to explain. So here we have a new Internet on which every one want to have a experience Photo+video+text. We can say that how fast flow of data has transformed the online behavior of Netizens. On Facebook even the post which is visually rich gets far like and share that only text based internet. ‘
2. Devices which can support this behavior: The evolution of the internet in terms of speed of the flow of data and it caused a basic shift in the nature of interaction of online users on Internet. A device was required which can support the behavior of online users. First device which supported and accelerated the transformation of online interaction and engagement behavior of Internet users is Smartphone. The advent of iPhone and Android based Smartphone completely changed the point of access for a user to access Internet.
Appearance of iPad and Android based Tablets also added fuel to the transformation phenomena. Some of the basic transformation which happened was:
1. These two devices supported the extraordinary rise of Social Media.
2. i-Phone extraordinary touch screen capabilities led to the interaction between a device and Human to a different level. Death of Keyboard.
2. Rise of application based surfing instead of browser based surfing.
3. Rise of mobile based social media application.
4. These application fuel the rise of Visual based of application.
5. Desktop has certainly lost its dominance.
Facebook belongs to the era of Desktop which was dominant force of computing and access point of internet. In last three years it has changed drastically. If Google is one pole of internet then Facebook is another pole. With more than 900 million users worldwide Facebook has the ability to flex muscle. There are few loop holes in Facebook empire.
1. Facebook has to prove theme-self as feasible platform for advertisement to industry in terms of ROI.
2. More than half of the Facebook user access Facebook from mobile. This is the biggest problem for Facebook. Facebook is still in the process of monetizing Facebook mobile version.
Facebook in the world of internet ruled by Smartphone and Tablet
Smartphone has its own ecosystem. iPhone has an ecosystem of iOS. Android based Smartphone have Android ecosystem. Basically the operating system on which the Smartphone is running is the ecosystem of that Smartphone.
Smartphone users access their site through mobile application. These mobile application are form of the websites which is best visible in Smartphone and Tablets. In last eight years of his existence Facebook has achieved a level that if Facebook is existing for their user only as a application then there is no big difference.
Facebook is completely dependent on the ecosystem on which user is accessing Facebook. In reality Facebook can’t exist as an application only in the new world of Internet.
Apple and Google are pioneer of this world. Microsoft is catching very fast and Amazon has surprised everyone with Kindle Fire.
We think that it is an opportunity and challenge both for Facebook but Facebook should develop a strong ecosystem inside the world of internet which runs on Smartphone and Tablets.
Facebook is also doing soul search about how they should move ahead in the future of internet. We don’t know that Facebook is going to buy Opera or not Facebook is going to build their own smartphone or not. We are pretty sure for one thing that Facebook cannot stay only as a mobile application in the new world of internet because it is bad for their business in long term.
Facebook has to develop an extraordinary ecosystem for this new world of Internet independent of Platform where they can do their business of
2. Selling of application, digital content.
3. The biggest danger is loosing their dominant status. Facebook has to differentiate them-self from other application.
We guess that Facebook is already doing that.