If you’ve been reading Facebook Login for any amount of time you know that we love Facebook. How could we not? Over the years they’ve given us a free platform to do just about anything. Unfortunately there is too much of a good thing; as Facebook has grown in features it’s also ballooned in complexity, mutating into some type of mega-application.
But there is a silver lining for Facebook – they have more users and more data on users than almost any company in the world, short of Apple and Google. In order to combat Facebook’s eventual demise, they’re fragmenting the monolithic Facebook application we all know into smaller, more focused applications.
The biggest challenge Facebook now faces is winning against established apps in categories where Facebook has yet to develop an application of their own. Currently Facebook dominates mobile applications with it’s popular Facebook mobile app, however they’ve also branched off separate mobile apps for both messaging and news. In fact, it seems that as Facebook Paper develops it’s resembling Facebook mobile less and less.
And then you’ve got mobile photos, which makes the reasoning behind Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram much more clear. Facebook owns messaging, photos, and news, but what about the other killer apps? Here’s where things get interesting…
On the heals of Facebook’s recent 18 Billion dollar acquisition of WhatsApp, messaging is a hot space. While Facebook may have messaging on lock, one area where they are not dominant is group messaging, where GroupMe holds top position. GroupMe has a killer group chat interface on all platforms (desktop, iOs, Android, and Windows Phone).
The two leaders in the events world are Meetup and EventBrite. If you’re trying to organize, promote, and most importantly charge for tickets for an event, either of these apps will be your go-to choice, not Facebook. Although Facebook has had event features for years, very few people seem to use them. One key reason may be that there’s no integrated billing in Facebook events, among other must-have features missing from the app. Again, Facebook should acquire one of the leaders in this category rather than trying to catch up on their own.
Social News Stream
I’ll admit that my Facebook News stream has become much more interesting in the past year, but it still pales in comparison to the quality of my Twitter or Google+ feeds. If I want to find news that’s relevant to me, or join conversations with smart people who actually care about the topics I do, I go straight to Twitter, where I know I’ll see more than 20% of the posts the people I follow send out. Who want’s to live in a Facebook filter bubble? Not me. Get with it Facebook and buy Twitter to achieve ultimate dominance – you should have made a deal back when you had a chance, but it’s never too late.
Foursquare may not be the most popular app in the world, but amongst it’s most loyal users, it’s a top app. First of all it feels more elite and private, which is a good thing considering you’re using it to broadcast your exact location at a given time, making it a little too stalker friendly. All paranoia aside Foursquare is an amazing app for discovering great local businesses, restaurants, parks, and things-to-do in general, and we love taking advantage of the special offers and check-in discounts! As you guessed it by now, we recommend Facebook use some of that fine getty-green in the zucker-safe to scoop up Foursquare for supreme location app world dominance.
In case you wondered, private social sharing app Path is still around and doing quite well. Like Foursquare, it has yet to achieve any dominance of it’s own, but it has emerged as the top app for sharing your social activity privately with close family and friends. We don’t know if Facebook really needs to buy Path, but I imagine they could get a good deal, as the app has yet to really take off.
Ephemeral Photo Sharing
It’s likely Facebook missed their opportunity to buy SnapChat when they had the chance. We think the founders should have sold, but what do we know? SnapChat currently dominates the brave new millenial world of ephemeral photo sharing, selfies, belfies, and sexting. Facebook could develop a competing app on their own, but wouldn’t it be easier if SnapChat just sold to Facebook and got it over with already, it’s bound to happen, they stand no chance on their own. Get a room you two.
What does the future hold?
Niche applications in each of these specific areas are all now competing with Facebook. How will it all pan out? Will Facebook use their huge cash reserves to buy competitors, or will they try to develop their own apps internally and compete head-on? Only time will tell.