Business, Strategy, Technology, Web

Revenues or Customers – Facebook needs to pick one!

Read an interesting article by Mahesh Murthy on Facebook and its new ways to generate revenue. You can find it in detail here, but according to me the summary is that ‘Customers used Facebook because it was a cool and free place to come together. In the process Facebook became a big company and from advertising on the sides has few billion dollars in revenue. Now to increase the revenues Facebook is trying to charge customers from their posts without understanding how dangerous it can be. People switched from Myspace to Orkut to Facebook and god knows where they might go next’.

Both Facebook and Instagram have done some big bloopers in the past few weeks. Instagram change of policy caused a major controversy and probably loss of users! Facebook charging money to promote posts is again a big blooper! I understand making money is difficult but here our a few ideas from my side for possible revenue streams!

  • Facebook Messenger vs WhatsApp: Techcrunch wrote that Facebook might be in the talks to acquire WhatsApp. Ofcourse Facebook can acquire another company but the fact remains that Facebook Messenger could have easily been more successful than WhatsApp! Facebook already had the contacts as friends list, had a mobile application and everything WhatsApp had except business development. Only Focus and Business Development were needed.
  • Dating / Matrimonial Site Integration: Whether its Match or eHarmony in the UK/US or Shaadi.com or BharatMatrimony.com in India or something else in other countries! Helping Single people meet each other has going on since centuries and now there is a way to do this and also make money! Facebook already has the ‘status’ and can easily extend this, ofcourse giving user the option to whether use this service or not and whether charge for this service or not.
  • Workplace or Competing with LinkedIn: It might not work because people like to keep personal life and professional lives separate. However I was told that one of the few things which employers first do when they get a job application is to search for applicant’s Facebook page and go through it …. so it just might work! I know applications like BranchOut have been around but a direct attempt by Facebook might be more successful.
  • Deals or Competing with GroupOn: Facebook actually closed its deals site in just 4 months! I was very much disappointed with this because I felt Facebook with all the users likes, history, location would be much better at this. Anyways a business definitely for Facebook’s Future, otherwise what is the worth of all that user information?

There are many possible revenue streams for Facebook but the common factor which leads to all of them is just one – Customers and more than 1 billion of them! Don’t alienate them …

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