Mobile Key to Facebook's World Domination
In today's social media nutty world, it's hard to come across a post that doesn't regurgitate the same old stuff, i.e. it's all about the conversation, engagement is key, etc.
The space is very repetitive and honestly, is one massive echo chamber.
However, cruising through my RSS reader, I came across a post by David Berkowitz over at MediaPost's Social Media Insider Blog about how Facebook could soar to seven billion users.
Yes, that's billion, not million.
Berkowitz talks about China being, obviously, one of the biggest challenges (as Facebook isn't available to citizens of the country). However, he points out, the bigger challenge is the four billion people that either don't live in China nor are Facebook users.
The key, according to Berkowitz, is mobile.
I couldn't agree more, sort of.
The road to seven billion, he says, goes through 0.facebook.com site; mobile user adoption (500 million on desktop vs 100 million on mobile devices); free or low cost devices to the younger generations; and finally, snatching up a voice of internet protocol service like Skype to get past any carrier issues.
Overall, there's zero chance of Facebook hitting seven billion. Yes, I know it's possible, but there are too many barriers in the way. Not everyone really wants to be on Facebook. Believe it or not, there are some people that simply don't want to access the service despite having the access. In fact, I've predicted that there will be a social media depression where users will start to withdraw and try to eliminate their digital footprints. Hard to believe, I know, but totally possible given the information overload that consumers face daily.
Regardless of my wild theory, Berkowitz is right by barking up the mobile tree. As mobile devices get smarter, faster and have the processing power as a laptop, you will start to see a shift in mobile use across the board (not just with Facebook, but all social apps and the social web).
And, if Facebook can keep their leadership position, they will have the opportunity to creep from the millions to billions. The keys not only will be dedication to access and "useability," of the service, but more importantly, keeping users in the drivers seat despite growing pressures to rake them of their personal data to sell to the highest advertising bidder.