Monday, April 23, 2012

Now what Facebook?

Today, it was announced that Facebook now has 900 million users.

Now what?

Obviously, the growth that the company has seen since it's inception is going to slow then at some point stop and even decline. The world only has so many people with an Internet connection. In addition, since the company is going public sometime within the next month, they are going to have to find ways to grow.

Since the user base has a ceiling that they are most likely closer to, than further away from, they have to find a way to keep increasing revenues and growing.

Their acquisition of Instagram is one way of helping. Expect to see a lot of that in the months and years going forward. Buying up companies that are doing things that either compete against or complement what you do can not only stave off the competition, but allow you to move into new areas to stay fresh and relevant.

But they must also keep innovating. Sure, a lot of people get mad when they make cosmetic changes, or introduce new ways of displaying your information, but they must keep doing this.

Facebook must avoid becoming the next Kodak, AOL or even MySpace. My personal experience with MySpace largely ended when pages became too clunky and would not load properly - if they loaded at all. I don't see that becoming a problem with Facebook, but you never know.

In the case of other large, infamous and seemingly unable to be conquered companies, becoming stagnant and arrogant is what dooms those companies. There are always smaller, more nimble companies looking to take the big guy on the block down. They can't all be acquired. A lot of them fail and fall by the wayside.

However, at some point, Facebook will become the next MySpace. Technology changes. Personal interests and desires change. Facebook won't be able to keep up with that, but someone new in town will.

But to stave that off, they must remain nimble and make smart acquisitions along the way. I think Facebook can, and therefore, they have a pretty good future in the short term.

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