There is an evil temptation that far too many companies are having trouble resisting – the temptation to launch a new product or service on Facebook.
Every month, when the number of Facebook users seem to go up by 100 million or so – to a current tally of 750 million (let’s be serious, about half are most likely fictional or animals), the CEOs of most entertainment and technology companies get the crazy urge to somehow “tap into that customer base.”
This crazy urge must be resisted. Why? So Facebook is destroyed and the people of the world can go on to a much more interesting existence.
In my opinion, doing business with Facebook is the equivalent of doing business with China. Companies feel they need break into the Chinese market because there is FREAKING 1.3 BILLION PEOPLE THERE! “If we just get 0.0001% we’ll be successful. It’s a no brainer!”
And nearly every company goes there with their hat in their hand – giving every insane concession imaginable just to get in the door – and, eventually, come home with a giant footprint on their ass.
Reminder: The Chinese government can do whatever they want. The deal signed means nothing. If they don’t like your attitude or your product or just feel you’re getting a little “too friendly”, they’ll cut you off and send you home a miserable failure. And it doesn’t matter how many cartons of cigarettes or bottles of Slivovitz you give local officials. When it’s over, it’s over.
This is also true of Facebook.
I firmly believe Facebook could absolutely destroy Zynga (and numerous other companies) overnight. They have that power.
Granted, there is too much money at stake with Zynga’s upcoming IPO, so they probably won’t exert that power. But do you think the Zynga executives are going to do anything to antagonize Facebook… ever? Mark Zuckerberg knows the power he has over Mark Pincus.
That is another reason why Facebook must be stopped. Too many people are believing the hype and are afraid of being left behind.
Every day, Facebook dominates technology news. Press release after press release announces Facebook’s new initiatives and services. Their PR department sends out a press release, websites rewrite them slightly and, pow, you have technology news with a narrative controlled by… Facebook.
This week came a “leak” that they will be going into the Music business by blending streaming services such as Spotify, rdio and MOG into the Facebook user experience.
After all, why should anyone have to leave Facebook to listen to music? Why should anyone have to leave Facebook ever?
(I am working on a product that integrates Facebook into my morning shower. There must be a way to combine my Facebook news feed with the water from the shower head so my friend’s status updates directly enter my pores and absorb into my brain. But I digress….)
Spotify is a great service. They don’t need Facebook. People on Facebook don’t complain about having to toggle away from Facebook in order to go onto Spotify. It ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Spotify and other media companies need to resist the temptation of the 750 million non-paying users (which includes millions of dogs and cats who don’t really care what songs they listen to).
And look at this growth chart (left). 7.3 billion users in 2015 vs. only 7.2 billion people alive on the planet!
Major media companies (including my parent company Manka Bros. Studios) need to realize that Facebook needs them more than they need Facebook. (Manka Bros. is actually working on a ‘Facebook Killer’ – Caligula – to launch later this year but I fear it will be more of the same.)
Content is the driver of everything in media. Put a great movie on a crappy 13 inch black & white TV and it’s still a great movie and people will watch it. Put a shitty movie on a 110″ inch HD television screen with Dolby SurroundSound, movie lighting and a cocktail, and it’s still a shitty movie that no one will watch.
Facebook needs to realize that the only reason they are popular is because we all have this urge to see what our friends from high school and college look like now. That’s it really. It’s not to watch “The Dark Knight” for 30 Facebook Credits or buy pigs on “Farmville” (millions do it, I know, and why not? – it’s right there in front of us and we’re freakin’ bored with our lives).
But I think it’s time to break away and see what else is out there in the world.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea