Since every post about Facebook’s runaway success begins with “I’ve never been a MySpace guy . . . “, here goes: I can’t stand MySpace; it gives me eye seizures.
I love what Facebook is doing. They spend several years carefully building a niche network for college students that protected the target users from spam and otherwise icky things like high school kids, adults and jobs. They built a cult-like following of 10 million or so users.
Then, in September 2006, came the News Feed and Mini Feed revolution (Techmeme) and the ultimate insult on September 27, 2006 (Techmeme), they let anyone join. Facebook Nation collectively gasped and wrung their hands. Articles like this popped up all over the Internet along with the requisite, “Boycott Facebook” groups and blogs. Funny that the commentary seemed equally split between: 1) I’m afraid of stalkers and 2) I don’t want Mom and Dad seeing what a lush I am.
Facebook essentially torqued their user base (10 million!). This type of moxy isn’t your daily fare in business. I guess Zuckerberg and company knew what was best because here we are 9 months later with Facebook sporting 24 27 million (very sticky) users, and guess what feature newschool users like?
News feeds. Guess what other new feature users like?
The super viral News Feed helps me find new friends and new applications. Applications are super cool, and they’ve been over-covered by now (Techmeme). Read Marc Andreessen’s post for a great (albeit long) analysis. The WSJ published an article today (free!) about Facebook, including a graph tracing active users.
According to today’s WSJ article, of the 27 million active users, more than half are using at least one of the applications added since the platform launched.
Jeff Nolan posted some thoughts on Facebook and enterprise “ecosystems” yesterday with which I agree, for the most part. He compared Oracle (and other big enterprise software companies) to Sharon Stone (a Mensa member, thanks!). Seriously, a good point:
It’s also worth pointing out that enterprise vendors consistently put themselves at the center of the universe like an aging movie star that doesn’t realize s/he is told old to play the role (think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2). SAP/Oracle/Microsoft/IBM may be the gorillas in the global enterprise market but selling to 50,000 global customers out of a market of 100 million businesses (that’s a guess, I don’t know what the actual stat is) is hardly going to drive the growth each is predicting. This dovetails with something else I talk about frequently, selling to users instead of organizations.
Absolutely. He then goes on to make an Enterprise 2.0 mistake:
. . . SAP and Oracle in particular should be expanding their API support to include Facebook and Myspace integration.
No. No. No. And not for the security reasons (which are an issue). This is not innovative; it’s exactly what I mean when I say Enterprise 2.0 is lame. It’s square-pegging something cool to fit into the stodgy enterprise world. Jason Wood gets it right:
What’s going to be the Enterprisey version of Facebook? FACEBOOK.
Adding API support is a bolt-on, building native enteprise applications for a socially driven network is innovative.