One Billion Facebook users not enough to make $100bn company

Congratulations to Facebook on reaching one billion users milestone, this is undoubtedly an huge achievement and must be accoladed whole heartedly!

But I might be wrong, it seems to me that Zuckerberg has carried away with sheer number of users and good words from a stalwart like Steve Jobs about his stubbornness to remain product focussed and not interest based revenue-centric, and although he ended up building the best social network platform, so far he has failed to leverage it for shareholders (shares are already down by 40+%).


And when he really tried to please them by launching various FB apps and bombarding users with ads, sponsored status and promoted stories, users become disgruntled about a timeline so full of commercial page links that they have become more listener than participant, and are confused as to why they need so many apps to manage their accounts!



So what exactly went wrong with Facebook? I think, they followed Apple theory too religiously; they built beautiful product (like all iProducts) and then tried to control their ecosystem (Like App Store) in order to monetise it – but can Facebook really follow a purely Apple model?
I don’t think so. Why? Firstly, they don’t have ‘must have’ products for users – social engagement can be substituted or complimented by email, SMS, phone, or via rival networks. Users of iPhones and iPads have no choice but to use Apple by-products, only be available on their devices, including the highly deprecated iMap on IOS6! Whereas they have many choices and no compulsion when it comes to using Facebook and its applications.

In other words, Facebook can’t really push things on their users; it should try to build on what is already working, like Zynga games, Spotify music sharing, or the recently launched Facebook Gift!



I think Facebook Gifts are a great idea and can replace the way we do transactions, specially buying products for family, friends and loved ones – because stats suggests 80+% of us like to buy things from word of mouth recommendations or friends’ suggestions – and there is no better place than Facebook to get recommendations from friends.

In summary Facebook needs to build products with tightly coupled commerce ability not push advertising like pages you may like, sponsored posts or sponsored stories. Along with Facebook gifts (i.e. currency, or credit) let’s build a more open ecosystem for developers so that Zynga- and Spotify-like companies can build really lucrative communities to pour some money in and make Facebook a $100bn company!

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Is Twitter poised to change the dynamics of online selling?

It’s fair to say that the Internet has made an immense difference to the way in which we shop for products and services. In the old days, finding a great deal may have been more difficult than it is now, but you at least knew where you stood. If, by any chance, you didn’t like what was on offer on your local high street… you just had to accept it, and that was that.

In the past decade or so, however, the retail picture has changed completely with the emergence of quick, easy and widespread Internet shopping. First, it was Amazon that was turning the retail world upside down, first altering the dynamics of the books market and then doing the same for home appliances, electronics and whitewoods.
Then, it was eBay that was causing a stir, namely by giving more power to the individual seller, and in the process creating an economy of a greater size than half of the countries in the world. This was followed by services like Craigslist and Gumtree, which allowed for last minute and generally more informal selling – even including the letting out of driveways and spare rooms during Wimbledon! And even more recently, we’ve seen the impact of

Facebook Marketplace in linking a social media network to opportunities to buy and sell.
That, however, is not the most recent of the continuous revolutions that are being experienced in the world of online shopping. That’s because, in attempt to leverage the very fast growing base of Twitter users here in the UK – 6 million people, in fact – the Twitter deal specialist @YumGo has added another service to its offering that further empowers sellers.

The way the service works is that by simply tweeting to @YumGo, the seller can have their voucher code tweeted back to the service’s rapidly growing list of followers. It means that there is no download, no registration and no spam for any seller to worry about.

A @YumGo spokesperson commented: “Twitter’s no-nonsense and easily accessible world allows us to expose sellers’ daily deals to the right people, in the process creating a transparent, agile and cost-effective marketplace.”
So, the next time Wimbledon or the Olympic Game takes place, people can tweet to find the best daily deals…

Is the voucher codes industry overcrowded?

There’s no question that voucher codes have long been a valued means of saving money for a wide range of people around the world, whether they are struggling to make ends meet or simply love to save money on essentials and luxuries alike. Nonetheless, with SRK Com having recently launched its own @YumGo tweet-2-discount service, making use of the open source technology offered by Twitter, it seems an appropriate time to assess the state of play in the market, as well as one of its key questions: has the voucher codes industry become overcrowded?

At first inspection, it certainly appears that those who are looking for the latest online offers have no shortage of choice. On the one hand, there are the location based services from top players that take advantage of the huge numbers of people who access the Internet through mobile phones and tablets in search of the latest local offers. These include Google Offers and Google Wallet, with the latter being a mobile application that makes use of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to enable users to conveniently pay for goods using their phone. Other such services include Facebook Deals and Foursquare Deals, which reward customers who check in at a vendor’s place of business.

Other sources of offers include technology and affiliate network players such as myvouchercodes.co.uk, vouchercodes.co.uk and moneysupermarket.com. Then, there are the rapidly growing daily deal providers to consider, such as Groupon and Living Social. Indeed, the overall voucher codes market is now worth some $4.5bn, having grown by 155%. As a matter of fact, with the present economic climate leaving more people than ever in need of a effective means of saving money for a wide range of goods and services, it only looks set to continue its exponential growth.

Now, all of this competition would at first seem to place @YumGo in a difficult position. Nonetheless, whilst the market is certainly competitive, it is also close, and given the way that Twitter appears to be overpowering other social mediums, it seems that a small startup such as @YumGo may yet emerge a winner in this most hotly contested of races