This chart was published today via the Business Insider. It just justifies and indicates how Facebook is so well positioned to become the first cloud OS based on Social Media.
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This chart was published today via the Business Insider. It just justifies and indicates how Facebook is so well positioned to become the first cloud OS based on Social Media.
As they say, “the calmness after the storm”, but as it is several days before the F8 conference to take place this Sept 22nd, I could not help thinking about how we are basically experiencing a certain “calmness” before the storm to hit this Thurs in the mobile/online world.
We have all settled in a bit and have felt the war on mobile is basically the OS war between Google Android and iOS. As Apple prep’s to make their announcements this coming October with iPhone 5, it is not serendipitous that Facebook is looking to make an announcement 2 weeks prior. Over the last 5 years there has been a massive shift in behavior online to social. The Google and Apple fight seemed to pass by Nokia without even a battle. Nokia abandoning Symbian has now embraced the old online incumbent Microsoft with the Win7 platform as their next generation strategy of smartphones. In my mind, this was such a strange decision as there was so much opportunity still to focus as a first priority with Meego, and not throw the “baby out with the dishwater” in the panic attack to enter the market again Google ( now Google-Motorola) and Apple.
However, I think the game could have been played out much differently if Nokia kept to its guns and supported Meego first and foremost with these two major strategies moving forward.
1) Web OS ( getting rid of all native Apps for an HTML5 Responsive based ecosystem first) *More on this in future posts
2) Taking a bolt step with Facebook, to make Meego the right open-source lower level architecture with UI integration, and working with Facebook as the entire Application level OS as a strategy. This thinking would be very US focused, but a plan nevertheless for a global competitive position for the next generation Social OS.
Instead of trying to develop an OS to compete with Apple and Google, give a strong ownership position of the Meego OS over to Facebook. Not only has Facebook been the #1 App of choice across Android and iPhone, given the fact that mobile has always been about communicating and sharing ( the core DNA of a mobile device to begin with) partnering with a company like Facebook at that strategic level several years ago would had been a unique position for even the likes of Nokia to bridge to the next shift in the future of mobility and just about everything- Social. I am convinced the next generations of OS will be a Social Operating System, and there is no better then Facebook to make that happen when Nokia was the #1 in Smart phones several years ago. We are seeing Google come back into the game with Google+ that in my mind will be the core to Android devices in the future.
With Nokia now dependent on Microsoft and Win7 now to drive the strategy, how will this be an advantage? Especially since with Social as a core strategy, it does not leave Nokia with much. The right relationship with Facebook, would had been a strategy that could had given users the best position for this next wave.
Now that Facebook will be potentially launching Spartan at F8, It seems like that ship has left that station now even for Nokia, and the future opportunity to grab the “bull by the horns” with the next generation OS might now just be a drawn playing card.
I am excited to see what Facebook announces this week at F8 as well as the future of SPARTAN. I have been a big believer in the future of the Web standards of HTML for the future of applications and connectivity cross-media. Having a platform that works cross-mobile, online, tablet and social with HTML5 is an exciting future to be laid out with the Social Media OS.
Although, maybe Facebook will do this on its own? Have they enticed Device Manufacturers to join the camp such as HTC, Samsung, and others that are now looking for other options since the Motorola Acquisition by Google? Nokia is still sitting in a good position with its patents, that the Nokia-Facebook Alliance ( even the Blue-Logo’s and the Connecting People expression make sense together) would make sense? Could we even see Facebook buying Nokia before Microsoft does? That would be an interesting twist of events.
In any event these are all just thoughts that came to my mind before Facebook’s big F8 event on Thurs…. Here is also a modified Comscore chart with Facebook added.
Here is some good commentary on the “Social Media Wars” on ABCnews
Over the course of the last several years, Apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry and even Symbian paved the way for the strong value proposition of the optimized mobile experience for brands, publishers, developers and content creators. The closed App Store ecosystem created a business model for these App owners to make money in a way never before possible within the “Walled-Garden” environment of the Mobile Operators. These solutions were driven by Device side owner of the business (Apple, Google, RIM and others) and the day AT&T “drank the poison pill” and let Apple have full control, set into motion a unique new mobile world order that changed the position of the Carriers. However, the caveat to these closed Application marketplaces has been the ability for discovery and marketability of Applications- a problem sorted out in the internet world with Google search
Today, many have seen HTML5 the next big hope in the future of the Application business. As most of the mobile browsers today house-Webkit (the open source mobile safari browser). The promise of an Application solution that can work from the browser across all the devices is an exciting possibility. This evolution is moving fast and it is being driven by Google and in my opinion part of the grand master plan for domination. Google has been using HTML5 to make a compelling case for device-specific views (the same website but mobile or online depending on the screen size. The strength in an Application world driven by HTML5 is that it lives by the same discovery guidelines of the internet and there is no question this is the strength of Google or the Online Market leaders.
Just this last week, was a big day for HTML5. Facebook made a big announcement around their initiatives for HTML5 Apps as part of their mobile framework. Since the launch of the iPhone and the iPad, all eyes have been on the HTML5 evolution vs. Flash as well as the development of mobile web apps vs. native apps. Even though there has been some time before the fragmentation settles, it looks like we are now at a turning point for a stronger evolution of HTML5 Apps in the ecosystem.
So is this the chance that Carriers are waiting for? AT&T seems to be pushing big for the evolution of HTML5 (Link to other article). DoCoMo did a great job over the last decade with building out a dedicated mobile web framework called “iMode” that had a separate parsing and billing mechanism for both official and non-official sites with Carrier billing. This type of structure would work with the HTML5 opportunity, giving strength in the Carriers ability to have an Application marketplace across all devices by pushing the requirements in the Handset manufacturer’s Browser. However, Facebook is embarking now on a similar strategy via the web and ubiquitous across all handsets. So if the carriers attempt to engage in this strategy, there is a strong opportunity for them across all of their own devices sold, but they will need to move fast and with some elements of differentiation. Google and Facebook are coming strong from economies of scale and extending their strong user base to mobile. The question remains whether an internet-based HTML5 Application marketplace run by Google, Facebook that crosses all carriers and handsets vs. one driven by a Carriers that only reaches just their family of handsets, going to be compelling enough for web developers? . Carriers may need to think out-of-box and build more mobile cross-channel media relationships ( such as the TV, Radio, Agency, News, Retail) to give them a potential content and commerce position tied to their existing strengths of billing, pre-packaging, location based services, mobile wallet and point-of-sale marketing awareness.
( Some reference Articles)
InfoWorld May 11, 2011- HTML5 not yet solving the Mobile Dev problem
IntoMobile June 18, 2011- AT&T creates a HTML5 dev center in Israel
Wallstreet Journal Jan 5, 2011- AT&T plans to create the most advanced HTML5 toolkit
There has been a lot of debate recently about whether Foursquare will truly become the main point of check-in’s around places in the future, or our others going to to be the next game in town ? With Facebook’s Places now extending to Blackberry’s and the roadmap growth process for the 600M+ users, Foursquare only has 4M users is not even 1% the size of its Goliath predator. Foursquare has been growing with brands and starting to bring lots of new value with different promotional relationships and feeds to their platform, but can they grow fast enough as a company focused on local and is their growth pace enough to be sustainable? Recently Foursquare was compared to Groupon in its efforts to bring value-added promotions around the community, and some say that Foursquare will need thousands of resources to keep the momentum going. Even though advertising can be considered great content ( if presented in the right way) is it the right content that will make Foursquare scale with user acquisition? For some reason, I believe that it is a good direction, but I am not convinced it is really the right focused strategy as it is so resource intensive to do all those deals. Groupon emerged with a very different business model for user attraction that has been very local, but not as hyper-local as Foursquare.
In my recent visit to conference around local advertising from the perspective of the local directory companies, Foursquare was a hot-topic, but they seemed to be working toward building their own anchor around local advertisers and Foursquare was not the centerpiece. There was more debate and discussion around social media distribution in general around Facebook and Twitter. Foursquare’s game got them out of the gate, and they have tapped into the behavior of the check-in, but others are fast to copy this phenomena. I am really looking forward to seeing how they scale, but they need something more organic wow now to attract users like they did with the first game concept. I am looking forward to this evolution and see how they balance user focus vs. advertising in the future, with or without that sales force. My question is can they keep the game going to continue to game users? Can the game concept continue to grow at a local level?
Today, Facebook launched there latest implementation for web publishers that just “blew me off my chair”. They have taken social to the next level by enabling publishers to leverage the social graph of Facebook to not only share articles, but to integrate this see seamlessly between both the users profile on Facebook ( or news feed) and the Publishers content page.
This was my experience with the connectivity with CNN.
1) First of all, when I was as the CNN site, I noticed the Facebook Share Widget.
2) So then I clicked “Facebook Connect” and went through the series of processes to Connect
3) I then had the option to sign-up for the CNN network…. which I did and become fully connected between Facebook and CNN.
4) So lets take this for a ride….. I noticed I could go to the page within CNN to see all the articles recommended by Friends
5) ….Then I found an interesting article on “Smell Sensors”. I ”commented” like and left a comment.
6) That comment was automatically posted to my Wall ( News Stream)
Facebook has been successful in not only owning the user, but they do a great job in “viral marketing”. Will this growth continue or will privacy kill them? Will they become the next Internet? Will they form that unique strategic partnership with Apple? They are consistently going from country to country and becoming the underlining social graph.
However, there are countries that have not become dominated yet by Facebook. Not only are they in the top of Apple’s portfolio of must downloaded applications, Mobile has been know to be a usage case of social media ( >50%). Many strong mobile players such as Mocospace, AirG, Brightkite, Loopt, Gowalla, Foursquare keep on growing, but the shear volume of growth of Facebook is astounding.
Many companies have leveraged “Facebook Connect” as a way to build there usage base, and they seem unstoppable. Bebo is up for sale, and the other social networks are taking on a completely new business models. Even Twitter has not shown the growth yet as Facebook, and as Facebook has prided itself with Direct to the end-user, they can bring any kind of app as integrated into their platform and just crush the competition. Location was launched recently in Facebook, but when are we going to see extravagant maps tied to the overall service.
As they say, “what goes up- must come down” so it will be interesting to see where they peak or will they just become the WWW…. or FFF.
Here is a recent chart published by Silicon Valley Insider on the relative Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)/ Year in 2009 for some of the leading Internet players. Google leads the pack with an ARPU of >$18 USD, where as the social media players are still much lower. I think it is going to be interesting year in 2010 as Facebook/Twitter and others really build on there social advertising strategies. I think what would be interesting to model is the time it took Google to reach this value as opposed to now both Facebook and Twitter.
I was once told that the advertising business is “a distribution constrained business”; based on the quality of segmentation and reach. As Social channels do offer that deep insight, as they move from a Social utility business structure to more Social entertainment, I am interested to see how high they will go over the next 5 years and the major brands gravitation toward them.
There have been many charts that show Google’s search growth has been relatively flat, so I would expect their first priority is definitely to move toward innovative location-based local advertising with a focus on mobile. Even if we were to add up $18 per person for year for 2 years= $36 does not completely buy a mobile device. There is still a long way to go for a free phone powered by advertising only by Google.
Some thoughts of key trends and areas of growth for 2010.
1) Facebook will move from the major online social media player to a very focused mobile application and developer platform.
Facebook Connect will take on new meanings. Mobile Advertising will become the a key social media/ direct marketing/ brand monetization player in the mobile industry. Maybe even stronger then Google/Admob?
2) Smart Phone Critical Mass. Smart phone penetration will continue to accelerate with Apple again surprising us amongst the massive competitive releases from Google, Nokia, RIM and Palm. 2010 will leave us with >20% ( maybe >30% US) of all devices in the market to become Smart Phones. In 2009, about 17% of the US market had smart phones. It has been predicted by Strategic Analytics and others that 50% of the market will be using smart phones by 2013. So 2010 is the turning point year in the industry as the massive transition will start as iPhone/ Android- Nexus One/ RIM/ Palm and Nokia devices compete like crazy that drives user adaption very quickly over the course of the year.
3) Mobile Ad Server and Mobile Ad Network convergence with Online will follow streamlining in the Agency and Marketing world. Mobile as a stand-alone media strategy and channel only will be less and less apparent… AdMob/ Quattro were the first to go, but the other mobile ad networks will be part of the continued M&A frenzy of the Online players looking to cross-over to mobile.
4) Cross-Border innovation and Cooperation will take a new form in the mobile space. A spree of unexpected M&A from Asia to the US, and visa versa will solidify the need for operational interdependence in the mobile space. Regional Carriers and cross-boarder alliances…. I particularly feel this to be the case with Korea, Japan and Taiwan first over China which will happen a bit later.
5) Social Brand Marketing Innovation will continue to occur around the unique engagement and real-time platforms of Twitter, Google Wave and Bing, thus solidifying a more established budgeting process for brand marketers in digital with social media, search. This could be the year of media buy transition from Traditional to Social. The rise of the social media agency and more association of engagement to pricing models… Intuition models? WOM models?
6) The innovation focus on Applications ( iPhone) will continue, but there will be several new devices in the market that will begin to challenge this with the pure Web experience! Namely Nokia/ Android….HTML5? Flash light 3.1? The App store frenzy will continue.
7) Real-time search will continue be a major topic and key to the “mobile moment”. We will see a unique convergence with entertainment and maybe event the music space.
8) Live streaming! We started the trend in 2009 with the U2 event and a variety of others, but live streaming now will ins 2010 become a basic requirement and model for events. Enabling increased revenue opportinities for the “mobile moment”.
9) Location will be a key factor in direct marketing performance pricing, and new innovative inventory opportunities will become mainstream. Augmented Reality, Navigation Advertising, Social Location….. map integration in media properties and publications will be standard. It will take time for this to really evolve and fill as a true inventory source, but the critical foundation will be set it 2010.
10) User-Generated Content portals and Mash-ups will continue and verticalize. There will be some big surprising new UGC solution portals for sale in 2010.
Although my Facebook account was down for 24 hours yesterday due to the Group Hack, if my calculations are correct, in the next couple of days Facebook will announce the break-through of over 100M mobile users. About a month ago in my discussions with Facebook staff, I heard that they had over 65 M Mobile users and they they were expanding about 1M new users per day…… Therefore, I would imagine anyday now they will announce the 100M users and launch their mobile ad platform and the mobile open API. Couldn’t be better timing then right around Thanks-giving and the end of the year Christmas sales. Great time for advertising.
Last year on Dec 12, at 3:27 they announced the 100M users on Facebook. It is incredible that in less then 1 year ( if they do hit the mark and announce it) they could repeat this with Mobile. This is an exciting time as it is the first service that has broke through the 100M user mark in Mobile outside of China.
Last week Facebook announced its 300M unique user! Incredible. I also heard that there is now over 65M users that are accessing Facebook daily from mobile devices. I remember the days at Nokia where we discussed a service that had a mobile audience of >100M, but today I believe with over 65M active users a day on mobile, this has got to be getting pretty close to the the top. I am sure there is a service in China that is getting more then 65M active users a day, but for something so sticky and mobile, I think we will probably see Facebook to be the first to “break the 100M mark on mobile”
So where does this leave them with a business model? Also there was some unique discussions of Facebook killing on advertising.
Last week when I was at Advertising Week, Facebook sponsored a wrap-up party that I had the honor to attend ( Thanks Matt/Lance) .
So it is clear to me that Search and Social are keys to a digital marketing strategy in harmony and it only validates the dramatic ad revenue growth of Facebook. Interested to see what Twitter does with links and lead-gen. Will Social media someday match Search Revenues? As long as the Brands can be satisfied with the proper placement of brands in the mix, as Search has become a direct marketing tool, Social media can become a brand marketing tool….. See the book by Alan Moore and Tomi Ahonen ( Communities Dominate Brands- written many years ago and quite visionary…)
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