A Facebook Revolution?

February 15, 2011

On a flight across the US this afternoon, I thought about “First Facebook SIM Card Released.” Facebook in firmware: An even bigger deal that the smart money at Kleiner Perkins pumping cash into the Facebook corporate body. What kept nagging at me was the Google Egypt revolution person talking about Facebook. Why didn’t the revolutionaries use Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo? I think the reason is that those services are like the old marketing chestnut: buggy whip businesses. The idea is that Facebook is the motor car and the buggy whip crowd needs to make seat covers or 20” inch wheels with flashing lights.

The SIM card underscores the opportunities Facebook creates as Googlers use Facebook, Microsoft cuts deals with Nokia, and Yahoo tries to reinvent itself more quickly than AOL. What occupied me was the steady push of social interaction on Facebook. Sure, there are many other successful social sites, but none has the motion picture, the smart money, and the exposure on 60 Minutes. I keep thinking, “Facebook was the method for some of the Egypt turmoil.”

Search, although interesting to me, was not where the action was in Egypt. The innovators were not cooking up a gizmo for Android. The Kleiner JP Morgan-tinged folks were not yammering about Google. Nope, Facebook.

As the jet lumbered along below its cruising speed ostensibly to arrive when a gate would be available, I formulated three thoughts:

  1. Facebook is going to rise and then fall faster than any of the other Internet super kids. But that exposure on 60 Minutes and that money suggest a collapse may take some time.
  2. Facebook morphs into an application platform with SIM gizmos becoming just the first of a series of innovations to make social interaction the cat’s pajamas for lots of people under 30. In short, a different type of revolution is brewing.
  3. Facebook becomes the tool for altering governments. No wonder France wants to censor the Internet. Facebook might be the method that will reinvigorate some ageing UCal Berkeley types and some unemployed youth in countries scattered far and wide.

What’s this mean? I am not sure, but I am glad I am not competing with Facebook. I am glad I am not a wobbly government. I am glad I don’t have to explain to investors why it took six years to invest in what looks like a company on the upswing. And what about Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo? Time to retool the buggy whip factories perhaps?

Stephen E Arnold, February 15, 2011

Freebie, definitely a freebie


2 Responses to “A Facebook Revolution?”

  1. Tweets that mention A Facebook Revolution? : Beyond Search -- Topsy.com on February 15th, 2011 2:37 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen E Arnold, The Search Trap. The Search Trap said: A Facebook Revolution? http://chtr.it/guRk9r #search […]

  2. James MacAonghus on February 15th, 2011 2:30 pm

    I feel though as if Facebook has yet to prove itself in a business sense. What is the commercial value? It is a platform for brand advertising…fine. And they drive traffic…fine. But helping revolutions won’t bring in money; that has to come from proving that FB drives shopping, and I am not sure they have really done that yet. Not in the measurable way that AdWords does, for example.

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