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How Facebook Could FAIL or Become Much Smaller

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I use Facebook daily.  I don't spend hours on the site but I do enjoy catching up with friends, family, coworkers, and students.  I use the site for my favorite hobby: weather. Over the last year or two I have become increasingly more uncomfortable with how zealously FaceBook has been mining my personal information.  I mostly solved that problem by removing all information about myself from my page.  There is a picture of me and there is the fact that I am in a relationship with Mary Rolle.  Every day I delete all of the messages that I put on my wall the previous day.  When TimeLine was forced on me it took many hours to delete all of my posts going back several years.  I can't be the only person that feels this way about Facebook.  I like the concept of Facebook but I am unsure if I like the company behind the product. For the record, I am not Anti-Facebook.  I would miss it if it went away.  I hope it survives.  But I would like a kinder, gentler Facebook.

While there are no shortage of sites that will hype Facebook and even tell you that Facebook will eventually own the web or BE the web, Facebook has some serious challenges ahead.  There are an increasing number of Wall Street, banking, and technology analysts who are questioning the viability of Facebook in, say, eight or ten years.

I have read through a dozen or so sites and here are some quotes and snippets that highlight the issues that are confronting Facebook.

A.  Facebook doesn't get mobile.

B.  Facebook's stock opened at $38 and today was at $32.16 when I checked just before I began writing this Page.  The stock is down but not down a ton.  Still, down is the wrong direction.

C.  Six of the original 11 underwriters listed on Facebook's IPO prospectus are currently giving a neutral rating on the stock.  Keep in mind that these are the people that brought the company public and, at the time, were quite bullish on the prospects for Facebook.  It's not a good thing when more than half of your original underwriters are no longer bullish on your stock.
D.  About half of Facebook's 900 million users accessed Facebook via mobile in May.  This is a growing trend and not a good one, for now, as Facebook simply isn't making money from mobile.  More and more younger members are only accessing Facebook via their smartphones.

E.  "The Facebook generation went social but still relied on a big, comfortable browser experience, and the next generation knows how to make mobile money. And just as Yahoo! ruled the first generation but failed to adapt to the demands of the second, Facebook will probably fall on its face in the mobile transition."
F.  "Facebook used to be very simple to understand. Sadly, it was so simple you couldn’t adequately protect your information. Facebook started adding privacy features, then other features, then more apps, then more settings, then more …everything. Like Windows, Facebook is now something you have to work at to use safely. For many people, that takes all the fun out of it. Enthusiasts will use Facebook regardless of how complex it gets. Businesses will use it as long as their customers do.'
G.  Young people, under 21, are visiting Facebook less often than the 30+ crowd.
H.  A Reuters poll found that users are engaging less with Facebook than they used to. While 20% of users surveyed said they spend more time on the site today than they did six months ago, 34% said the opposite.
I.  Ironfire Capital analyst Eric Jackson in a recent CNBC interview: "In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo! has disappeared."
J.  According to another, recent, Reuters study, four out of five Facebook users have never made a purchase of any kind based on ads they saw on Facebook.
K.  Big businesses are not seeing the return on their advertising dollar that they expected.  For example, "General Motors is pulling its entire Facebook ad budget to refocus on other forms of marketing. That's a big hit to Facebook's credibility, given GM's huge presence in the advertising world."
L.  "Facebook is run by one person with dictatorial say-so -- and I'm not sure Mark Zuckerberg likes change very much."

Facebook has to figure out mobile, they have to figure out how to keep their younger members from drifting off, and they have to figure out how to keep advertising dollars.  Those three challenges seem to be the most salient among all of the articles that I read for this Page.  What do you think?

Facebook is closing in on one billion  members
erick99 posted Jun 27, 2012

There will always be something else....

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Jun 27, 2012


Here is a great example of how Facebook constantly angers their member. "Facebook has acknowledged it could have done a better job informing users about changes made to their email addresses on their profiles, when it added addresses hosted by Facebook to users’ contact information. The company upset many users Monday, by switching their default email addresses. Addresses most likely ending with or were switched to addresses. By not communicating the change to users, Facebook aggravated what could have been a non-issue." I just read this and I didn't know that my email address had been changed. Not good.

erick99 (rep: 432k) posted Jun 27, 2012


member = members

erick99 (rep: 432k) posted Jun 27, 2012


I am in the group that "Loves To Hate Facebook." I agree that it shouldn't go away but it needs to be different.

MaryRolle (rep: 23) posted Jun 27, 2012


Timeline sucks.

Jameson99 (rep: 19) posted Jun 27, 2012


There are about 840 million Facebook members and there are about seven billion people inhabiting the planet. So,Facebook's membership currently includes about 12% of the Earth's population. That's a pretty amazing statistic.

erick99 (rep: 432k) posted Jun 27, 2012


Good research. I am joining your club LOL

lilywow (rep: 8.7k) posted Jun 27, 2012


I still dont understand the big gripe with the Timeline/ I mean do you really just hang out looking at your own page all day? What is there to hate?

As far as all the other stuff, its really all irrelevant. People arent going to leave Facebook because of changes like timeline. Facebook was destined for failure the since the day it opened because the primary income generator for the company is advertising. Now I dont know about anyone else but I have never once since ive been online since like 1995 Ive never once knowingly clicked on an advertisement on a webpage. If people click ads, it makes more money and sticks around. Simple as that.

Acidbaby (rep: 7k) posted Jun 27, 2012


Actually Acidbaby I have used Facebook MUCH less since the inception of the Timeline,it's bothersome and does not allow you to express yourself in your own way.
Personally I'm sick of having other entities pushing their will on me and telling me Who,what,where, when and HOW I can do something!
ENOUGH ALREADY! (hello Google+)--For now anyway!

xptrish (rep: 101k) posted Jun 27, 2012


How exactly does it not allow you to express yourself? You old page listed your last 10 or so activities. Now you have all your activity, your posts, your likes, you cover photo, etc etc. Its 1000X more express yourself friendly now than it was pre- timeline. And its all customizable to all ow you to show what you want and hide what you dont want.

Acidbaby (rep: 7k) posted Jun 27, 2012


fb sucks. I shorted the crap out of that shit and covered when it hit resistance at about $26. Thank you Zuckerberg!! $$$$$

kffight3r (rep: 774) posted Jun 27, 2012


Nice article. I use Facebook daily also. To let my feelings out, stay in touch with friends- meet new ones.
I realized in the beginning when they first came out with their security features, it was great, but now they had changed it so much, not so much anymore. It's sad- why keep switching something that everyone has gotten used to already? Thats one reason everyone hates FB, but still uses it. It's great to keep in touch with relatives, and friends you haven't seen in years!
But, these days, with their giving out your info and even making money without you consenting, it's getting harder to stick with it.
of course, I never pay attention to their ads anyway. But, I sometimes wonder whats going to happen, if they fail and shut down.

MdavidK30 (rep: 3.7k) posted Jun 29, 2012