Facebook’s quest to own your internet experience
There was a lot of talk recently about the launch of the new Facebook communication system, encompassing email, Facebook mail and messaging but not much about why they are so keen to keep expanding their product. Facebook is in a position of supreme dominance in the social networking world and moves into well established markets such as email could be seen as taking them away from their core strengths.
Its all pretty straight forward when you consider how Facebook makes their money. These moves are all part of Facebook’s desire to be the centre of your online experience, and it is following a similar path that Google has done in recent years, as well as many other online providers. Originally just a search engine Google has since expanded into mail, browsers, data services, chat, voice messaging, blogging and most things in between. Companies such as Yahoo, AOL and MSN have done similar, originally portals for news and email they have expanded to offer most services available online.
Why are they all so keen to own your online experience? Advertising of course. The more they provide the services you use online, the more they can know about you, the more they can display relevant adverts that people are queuing up to buy. AOL, Yahoo and MSN used to be the king of this with their web portals, email products and search engines but they got lazy. Google has taken over as the dominance of search has risen which has enabled them to build a larger user base and people began setting Google as their homepage. Now Facebook is getting in on the act.
And don’t expect it to stop with messaging. It won’t be long before Facebook is framing external pages so that even when you are viewing external content somebody posted to Facebook, you are still in their domain and they can see what you are doing. They already do this with Youtube videos.
Consider this, you have Facebook as your homepage, you use them for email, they manage your contacts, you chat with your friends on there, and you source useful web content which is viewed through a Facebook framed page. What do they NOT now about your online habits? And all this information is gold dust to advertisers looking to buy more and more targeted advertising in times where every penny you spend has to be accounted for.
So next time you hear of the latest Facebook development, consider how it fits with Facebook plan for web dominance and how it could all lead back to advertising.