Anyway, even though I don’t really use Facebook much anymore, I still read coverage about it, and this piece today about Amazon-owned Quidsi launching eCommerce for Amazon properties Diapers.com and Soap.com on Facebook struck me.
I remember back in Facebook’s infancy, Mark Zuckerberg boldly declared that he wanted Facebook to be the new internet, all contained within the comfy walls of facebook.com. Big talk, given the company’s size, user population and the not-so-distant failures of other closed garden internets like AOL.
But today, as Facebook nears 600 million users, let’s look at what you can inside its walls:
- Shop and buy online from a retailer.
- Buy and spend Facebook Credits.
- Search Facebook and the internet, albeit poorly.
- Play games and buy stuff within the game.
- Chat with your friends.
- Email your friends.
- Post status updates and links.
- Post videos and photos.
- Comment on nearly everything.
- Like nearly anything.
- Curate your experience with lists and bidirectional networking.
- Join and create groups.
- Manage your personal calendar.
- Create and promote events.
- Ask and answer questions.
- Watch videos and view photos posted elsewhere without leaving Facebook.
- View and click on ads.
- Install applications to extend the experience.
- Use your Facebook credentials as a personal ID in places outside Facebook.
- Run a online presence for your business including advertising and analytics.
This list isn’t exhaustive either; I’m sure I’ve missed a few features. Facebook is the largest photo-sharing site, by a huge margin. It’s the second-largest video-sharing site. It drives enormous traffic numbers, with very high engagement, the Holy Grail of digital marketing.
Let’s not forget you can do most of these tasks from any smart or dumb mobile device too, as well as from any browser, and entire businesses, e.g. Zynga, depend on Facebook for their existence and survival.
Recently, some have forecast Facebook’s downfall, but Facebook has become too big to fail. Its future includes increased regulation and more privacy concerns, and yes, it seems likely that the original crop of employees will divest and move on to other projects.
That’s completely natural.
Facebook will live on though because literally everyone uses it. Its sheer size and utility (not just to individual users, but to businesses and government agencies) will keep it alive.
I’m amazed that Zuckerberg was able to pull off his plan.
Time for questions. What can’t you do on Facebook? Can we declare it a complete Internet, housed within facebook.com? Does any of this make you nervous? Do you want to play the question game?