Hello everyone, welcome to my second blog! Today I want to take a closer look at Facebook. I have always been very interested with Facebook. I remember moving to Ohio back in 2007 and making my profile. Back then, I thought it was another social platform that was very similar to Myspace. I made it because everyone else had one and I did not want to be left behind. I never could have imagined what Facebook would turn into in a few short years. Through my natural curiosity, I wanted to take a closer examination of Facebook and their innovations.
In the first few classes, Facebook has a truly special culture that allows the company to be innovative and at the forefront of their industry. Building this reputation for innovation in the market gives Facebook the audacity to expand their platform to every corner of the earth –aiming to become a world brand. I recently had a tweet, which shows some of Facebook goals. To summarize, Investors are high on a bullish outlook for Facebook’s share price as the app looks to expand its market reach to over 2 Billion users on its main products: Facebook service, Messenger, WhatsApp and Group. Yes, that is Billion with a “B”.
As a follow up from our class discussion over Facebook, I wanted to take a deeper look into some of the advancements Facebook has on the for front to reach higher. Currently, the market for internet users is around 3 Billion, or a little less than half the human population. In this market, Facebook has a significant presence (60%). However for Mark Zuckerberg, this is not enough. More business is present in the emerging markets. It is estimated in emerging markets (primarily Africa and India) 3 billion more users are signing online in the next 5 years. As a result, Facebook wants to make sure their product is marketable to these new users. Facebook has developed a plan to marketing plan to help increase its global strength.
- Ad Revenue
- Internet ubiquity
Although there is great growth potential in emerging markets, Facebook understands that their product must have the capability to work with 2G mobile connections. From the TED talk video we watched, Margaret Stewart made a simple point clear – outside of the US, many people don’t have smartphones. They have simple flip phones that have very little processing problems. These are some of the first world problems we tend to overlook. The entire world is not developed, and Facebook is battling these issues straight on. To build a world brand, Facebook must be able to attract and retain users on every interface. So what does this mean for Facebook? Invest capital into research and development. Make sure their platform can be used across all interfaces with no issues.
If Facebook is putting time and effort into expanding their reach to every corner of the world, they must see the fruits of their labor.Simply said, show me the money. How does any app make significant money? Ad revenue. Business Insider Tech mentions some of the programs that are currently being launched to help create more revenue. One program creates unique ways for advertisers to connect with regional audiences. They are also opening sales offices in different regions of Africa, most notable is Johannesburg. And most importantly similar to the first issue, Facebook is making sure that their ads can function on phones with limited mobile connections.
What I find the most impactful and “coolest” innovative process Facebook is investing in is giving the internet to people in emerging markets so that they can get online. Facebook is investing large sums of money into nonprofit organizations such as Internet.org. This allows for users to have free access to Facebook and other apps. Most interesting is what Facebook is doing in the sky, drones. The drone, Aquila, will be capable of supplying the internet to areas that currently do not have accessibility. Facebook acquired Ascenta, a startup specializing in military drones. Facebook has successful launched Aquila into the air. This is important because it allows anyone to be able to have access to the internet and more importantly Facebook. Although Facebook is innovating for profit and return to shareholders, there are positively impacting through their innovative standard by giving back to the community.
Although Facebook is on the forefront for innovation, I think it is important to highlight some negative bumps they have experienced. Facebook has to be careful to make sure their machine is running smoothly. There was a great piece on the class twitter newsfeed that highlighted this. Facebook is having issues with spam. The inappropriate spam that is on your timelines and in trending topics section of Facebook. This is a “chronic” issue in emerging markets. Spam is everywhere in these emerging markets. This results in the destruction of consumer trust. Facebook is aware of these issues and has to continue to combat them.
The last question I have concerning Facebook is the sustainability of their business plan. In 5-10 years will Facebook be able to continue at this record pace? If we look at their past track record, I am inclined to say, yes. But it will be interesting to keep an eye on this app. What do you think?
Thanks for reading my Blog! Drew B.