Does Facebook change the way we use the web?
After watching Facebook’s F8 conference keynote live on the web on April 21, I had the very same thoughts that I had when there were a lot of discussions about the Google IPO back in 2004.
Those thouths included two basic things: one was that this is the time to invest; the second that this is the time to apply for a job there.
(Unfortunately I did neither in 2004. :-))
New concept is coming
Facebook’s concept is nothing new. Instead of relying on shady algorhythms to classify the web it uses people to do that. With a simple click of a button.
Opening up the “Like” phenomena to the whole web offers a win-win business for website owners, users and Facebook. This win-win concept is the one Google did a very good job in - and life proved that they were right.
This gives FB a new horizon on the web.
Let’s have a quick overview on the new items that were just announced:
- Like button for the whole web - any website can put the Facebook like button on - Likes will appear in the Facebook news feed.
- Activity feed - this plugin will show the users their friends activity on that particular website.
- Comments plugin - this will enable users to comment on any item on the website.
- Live stream - show user feedbacks during a live event.
- Recommendations plugin - It provides the users with recommended content on the given website.
- Facebook Connect - this is not new, although it’s a powerful tool to replace subscription and login mechanisms on the website. Not to mention that Facebook’s just get rid of the rule that user data cannot be stored locally for more than 24 hours.
What’s missing from the FB concept?
I see a major logical fault in this concept. Having hundreds of Facebook friends I really miss the opportunity to classify them. On my news feed there’s been a recommendation system working in behind for a long time. If I don’t react to news coming from one of my friend, his news will tend to disappear from my feed.
This could be okay. But people keep on posting in very different topics - the system may miss some interesting pieces of news from that specific friend.
And on the other hand as Facebook’s Like concept now being open for the whole web news feed will contain much more items per day.
So I really appreciate Facebook’s efforts to build the semantic web and bring that closer by personal recommendations - but I think that not just the web needs classifying, but also friends.
Another big missing thing is being local. Google’s been working on local tools for a while and the mobile era of local web services are just coming. Wondering who will be the one buying Foursquare. :-)
End of the Google era?
The war has not ended yet, but quite a few battles has been won by FB, and some were lost by Google recently.
But definitely this is the time when we’ll see the war intensifying. IMHO the world would be a much better place if they could cooperate - Google seach on Facebook, Google’s ranking system supporting FB recommendations, Google Maps integrated, Google Places to be liked on FB…
This could be a very long list but makes no sense to continue as it won’t happen.
Google surely will grow as fast as it did before - AdWords can’t be beaten. And search can’t be beaten either.
On the contrary. As Facebook’s Open Graph concept will spread Google will have to somehow incorporate it to the search results.
The new “tagging” raid is on the way. The web will be more semantic than ever before - and search results will be more accurate using that.
Let’s see Google’s reaction.
Will this kill Twitter?
In some conversations with professionals I just occasionally said that opening up the Like buttons and the Activity Feed plugin toghether will kill Twitter.
Seeing the weird reactions made me think twice. And now I truly believe this will happen. Twitter is a channel that failed to integrate with the web. Outside the US it is still a playtool of the geeks. Twitter is about to fail on monetization as well. And money is needed gain more attention, more users.
Although I’m quite a beginner user of FF but I think that their concept has just been incorporated into Facebook. They will also have to come up with something very new and powerful to survive.
So I believe that recent announcements from Facebook will trigger a flow of new product features from competitors like Google or Twitter. Time will tell how much this concept will change the way we use the web but I think that this is a beginning of something powerful.
Facebook wants to sit on top of the web and they do it quite well. If they can go local - nothing will stop them.
Apr 24, 2010 @ 5:51 pm