Facebook is on a roll. The team moved into a new, sprawling 57-acre campus in December of last year and has been dominating tech news ever since. Here is just a snapshot:
- Facebook filed for IPO back in February and appears to be on track for a May offering
- The team launched a overhaul, including Timeline, for Facebook Pages
- New paid advertising options are revealed, emphasizing brand content and engagement over ad design and placement
- A marketing conference (fMC) was also unveiled alongside the slew of changes to Facebook Pages
- Users now have access to expanded archives and personal data
- Facebook appears to be ramping up e-commerce capabilities with the acquisition of the Tagtile team
Then there is the matter of Facebook's recent $1,000,000,000.00 acquisition of Instagr.am. Some crazy math for you to consider: each one of Instagram's 30 million users are worth about $33 apiece. The news is fresh, the number is huge and there is a lot of reading being done between the lines.
- Instagram's success threatens $1B worth of damage to Facebook's profits and/or...
- The offspring of the FB-Insta collaboration is worth more than the billion dollar price tag.
Instagram is a simple product that does one thing really well: fast, beautiful photo sharing with filters that turn the average iPhone (or Android) user into a semi-professional photographer. The app boasts crowd-sourced visual experiences that allow the user to see the world through the eyes of their friends - virtual storytelling at its best.
Facebook, on the other hand, is an inherently complex product that has become a hub for life on the web and birthed new concepts like "social commerce" and "social currency". Facebook knows that the future of the social web is experiential and multimedia-driven... a collaborative experience that unfolds within your iPhone (or Android if you're @DonCrow).
So, we are all anxious to see what Facebook decides to does with Instagram. Zuckerberg claims the two entities will remain separate (I think I just heard a sigh of relief from all the Instagram lovers). We'll just see about that...
The fact remains, Facebook has been wolfing down social platforms like hotcakes and hoarding more apps than ever. In a match made in content-sharing heaven, StumbleUpon just moved to integrate their service into Facebook Timeline. In fact, hundreds of companies like Viddy, Pinterest and Fandango are getting tremendous traction from Timeline and that number is only growing.
As growth accelerates, Facebook is also making a conscious effort to (seemingly) double-back and touch on its roots. They launched a new version of Groups for Schools this month - a nod to the social platforms on-campus origins.
Users share .docs, class notes and curriculum; it's not much of a leap to imagine a full-on file-sharing and productivity suite laying entirely on top of Facebook. Here at Verge Pipe Media's office, there are a handful of SaaS platforms that could easily be folded into this sort of scenario.
Given all of this recent movement out of Palo Alto, it's easy to get nervous about what it all means for business-as-usual.
Mark Zuckerberg: "we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring."
The pace at which Facebook is evolving is perhaps what's most exciting (or unsettling, depending on your personal philosophy). But it is happening.
Are you ready?
Meredith Singer is COO & Co-Creative of Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world.