Where is Facebook’s Momentum Taking It?
About 11 years ago, my older sister was cooler than me. She could have a Facebook page because she was in college, and I couldn’t because I wasn’t. That soon changed and Facebook was available to the drooling youth that couldn’t wait to get their hands on another way to waste time and means to connect with someone that they saw every day anyway.
Since Facebook’s founding in 2004, formerly known as Facemash, the Book has defied the odds of what a social network could be and how long it would last. They arguably invented the social media era. The average lifespan of an online empire is 11 years. A lot can happen in 11 years. Or nothing can (looking at you Myspace). Through acquisitions and innovation, Facebook has led the charge in helping the world be more social, or less, depending on how you look at it.
Facebook Still a Force
By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook reported first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Let me put this as eloquently and accurately as possible…Facebook is crushing it. Facebook nearly doubled last year’s revenue, more than tripled its profit, and hit 1.59 billion users. If that wasn’t enough, founder Mark Zuckerberg made a bold move and added a new class of shares. These new stockholders won’t have voting rights, meaning Zuckerberg is still in control and can steer the company without worrying about what investors will think – at least not worry too much. This move certainly generated some criticism, but this is what Mr. Zuck had to say:
“When I look out at the future, I see more bold moves ahead of us than behind us. We’re focused not on what Facebook is today, but on what it can be, and what it needs to be for our community. That means investing in areas like spreading connectivity, building artificial intelligence and developing virtual and augmented reality.”
Bold Moves Ahead?
So what are these bold moves that Zuckerberg has in mind? I for one hope that this initiative includes building the local community through local pages and Facebook Places. Places was announced in 2010, and that’s pretty much all that’s happened since then. Places is a messy place. Sometimes I feel like I’m digging through an atlas (look it up if you don’t remember what that is) to find what I’m looking for. They have been slow to clean up their interface. Not only does this make it difficult for a business to keep their brand consistent and messaging pristine, it’s a poor user experience. Which one of 20 Torchy’s Tacos pages do I need to check into to make all of my friends jealous and rethink their taco-less lives? And why doesn’t Facebook know where I am? Google knows I’m not in Austin, TX.
Hopefully, Facebook will use this momentum to serve its 1.59 billion users with information we don’t even know we need or want. We’re already on Facebook on our phones and desktops (sorry to ya, if your company blocked it). Now, Facebook just needs to keep us there by serving us the info we are looking for in one place and do it seamlessly. The trending news feature was great, but help us plan our Friday happy hour or discover the restaurant that’s only a block away with awesome reviews. Immersive search, Facebook. I can’t be flipping back and forth from my news feed and Google Maps. Let us know what bold moves you want to see Facebook make this next year.