Vivek Wadhwa, Fellow at Stanford University, considers Facebook doomed, because:
“Google is exploring uncharted territory and staking its claims to the next trillion-dollar market opportunities. Facebook is mired in the past and squeezing every penny it can out of its customers to justify its inflated stock price. Unless it happens to luck out by buying the right company, it seems to me, Facebook is doomed.”
Squeezing the money, yes. The inflated IPO expectations forced Facebook to look at every opportunity to sell pixels. And they are innovating in how they sell pixels. Sponsored updates, sponsored posts, social ads are all infinitely superior to one-to-many media advertising and are influencing marketers everywhere.
And I would agree with Mr Wadhwa that they are not innovating like Google is innovating. I love that Google has labs that experiment in all kinds of crazy things that may never to come fruition. Hard to compete with Google’s level of innovation. It’s their DNA.
So what should Facebook be doing? Facebook is that it’s where people spend (and waste) time. Not invest time. LinkedIn, by comparison, is asking me to invest time more and more. I like that. There’s a real value to it. It benefits my career. It meets my goals of personal growth, retirement, taking care of my kids’ college funds.
I can’t leave LinkedIn. Because my professional identity would suffer. That hits me right in my wallet. LinkedIn is investing in not only the professional graph, but the content in that graph. I learn something when I go to LinkedIn. On Facebook? Well, I learn things that are significantly less worthy.
I can leave Facebook. Will my social identity suffer? Maybe a bit. But I’ll get over it. I know where to find the people I care about, and they know where to find me. I’ll be a little less informed about the minutiae of their lives, but I can live with that.
Where LinkedIn is investing in my professional identity, Facebook should be investing in my personal and social identity. Can Facebook can figure out how to invest in my social identity in a way that makes it impossible for me to leave without social repercussions? I haven’t seen that. And what I have seen is the younger generation hanging out on Facebook just for the messaging, but actively participating elsewhere — Tumblr, What’s App, SnapChat.