The continued growth of Facebook resulted in the 500 millionth user recently and the exponential advances made have great cause for concern throughout the industry.The expansion into geolocation with Facebook Places will essentially kill off all competition.
Foursquare, Gowalla et al should be quaking in their boots and they had better employ an offensive strategy against Facebook or they will become the next Friendster. Facebook has killed off a lot of competition but a lot of the time they have been better than the competition.
This time, they are edging in on their competitiors turf and they are now too strong to be defeated. The threat posed by Foursquare and Gowalla was recognised late, but unfortunately, with so many more active users and just the ease of checking in on Facebook instead of switching applications, should see the decline of the current geolocation apps.This is just another example of why, in the web design world, we should all be afraid of what is happening at Facebook.
It is scary enough that brands are actively promoting their Facebook pages instead of their corporate websites.Is Facebook going to kill off web design as we know it? Will every company’s web presence be determined by that familiar minimalistic tabbed interface and profile pic?
Will people forward all their domains onto their facebook page? I don’t think they’ll take over the web completely but it is definitely frightening about the potential routes they could take.For instance, they could easily integrate e-commerce as an option within the business pages. They could enable Custom content type (ie. products) and users could sell their products right there from within Facebook. No need for a CRM a website or powerful analytics tools because it all sits under one application.
They have already implemented an advertising model so surely this is a logical step forward?As for Foursquare and the rest of the geolocation clan, it looks like their days are numbered. But they could take solace from the plight of last.fm. They began as an internet radio site, but as the web has evolved and we are overwhelmed with options from Spotify, We7 and Mflow, the focus of last.fm has changed to aggregate all the music you listen to. Perhaps the geolocation tools should focus on differentiating themselves from what Facebook has to offer. But then again, what’s to stop Facebook from copying again?