Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lets grow with Facebook

Now, this is not some expert advice; just giving words to the thoughts of many. Many of us have realized, at some point of this year or another, that Facebook is not just another site, not anymore. With a user base of over 800 million, there's barely anyone left out of the social networking site.

So what does that mean to us ? Firstly, we must realize that all your dreams to start now and grow up to compete against Facebook, might be a little too far-fetched. I am, generally, not a pessimistic person, so I would like to add that former statement holds for most of the people out there planning to go up against Facebook; you might be an exception.

Secondly, and in my opinion more importantly, the large user base of Facebook gives others the idea to make use of the user base. We need to realize that the number of 'active' users on Facebook is a good indicator of 'active' internet users. These are the people any one wants to attract to their own products. But, if the number of people on facebook includes the people you want to target, why not target them directly ? Facebook now offers plethora of APIs giving developers a whole new world still left to be explored.

The point I am trying to convey should be clear from the following example. Say, you are a developer/entrepreneur with a idea that you think could change the way people think about 'something'. But again, your idea is heavily dependent on the input from your users; their participation is what drives your idea. In that case, you need a lot of users to visit your site. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is trying to make sure that people spend more time on Facebook and have less reasons to go outside. Given the resources, including the user base and money, they are expected to do a good job at that. I suggest, that we help him do this. How ? Why do you need a new site, when you can just create an application 'within' facebook. Looking at various apps such as The Guardian and Washington Post Social Reader, one can only begin to imagine the possibilities of such applications.

So what's the advantage ? For you, users; for users, the fact that they get the content without leaving facebook. At first, it might sound naive, but think about it and remember what they say,
"If you can't beat them, join them."