Firstly, I wholeheartedly agree with Fiorina’s open letter,A� and I would like to refer to the phrase from her letter, “You have understood our needs and desires for connection and communication better than we understood them ourselves.”
I would like to further add to this, taking the idea one step further, by proposing that the current infrastructure of facebook include a framework for business so as to become a market oriented site.
it’s embarrassingA� for me to be telling you what the internet is about, however, from
my perspective,A� I would like to share my ideas with you.
I will start by visually representing my perception of the internet as a base for my proposal.
In the pyramid above, I set out the attributes of the usage of the internet, not only from the point of view quality, but also from bandwidth usage.A� From a sociological aspect, this has also been the progress of man and his civilization, from the cave era to modern times.
Man first learnt to communicate, then he learned to entertain, then he became informed and spread the news, and in the end he caught onto the concept of possession.
Each website project identifies itself and usually deals with a specific subject or target group.
Facebook from the beginning dealt with the two categories which are seen at the base of the pyramid, (communications and entertainment). Social networking is by its nature communication. And because its content is user generated, it follows that it would be entertaining and informative.
Facebook never acquired a reputation for, or positioned itself in the e-commerce arena, and unless this happens right from the start, it is difficult to build later on.
This means that looking at the pyramid, you can only shift to adjacent levels and cannot jump a level. If levels are further apart, they require an inordinate amount of effort and energy to reach. For example, if we look at a communications service such as hotmail, it would be very difficult for them to provide e-commerce services, but easier to provide news and information services (e.g. the yahoo phenomenon).
In contrast, it is easier for someone in the information and news area to enter e-commerce – e.g. photo.net first established its community and later on established a store.
The main reason that FB never entered into e-commerce, is that its framework and philosophy do not allow the market to reciprocate and enter it.
Even advertising on facebook, urges the user to leave FB and to go to a third party site in order to meet the market.A� I believe that FB could change this by establishing a market oriented framework, which would not only keep the users inside FB, but in addition encourage more users to visit it and increase its popularity base.
In the future, businesses could run adwords ads to drive customers to facebook, if it would allow direct transactions.
And taking it one step further, I can see business not having a domain name, but instead only a facebook page (Term: FBusiness)
We perceive in our mind the term “social network” as entertainment and communication and nothing more. Facebook can change that.
Facebook must make radical changes in the way it handles e-commerce in general, using its strengths to become the main big player against the big name e-commerce names. This wouldA� not only help its current user base, but also the business world.
Facebook must open its doors and welcome the business to it.
Today, the businessman or the online marketer must ask the FB user to leave the site and go to a third party website. This step could be avoided as it keeps the market far away and outside of facebook.
Facebook must offer a framework where any page can be a business in itself and not simply act as an auxiliary of some external page.
That way, money will start entering FB. Even FB Advertising revenue would increase since businesses would invest millions to increase the number of page fans, since they would have a direct benefit from this customer base. Currently, the fan base works as a potential promotion for a business.A� In the new proposal, it would work as a direct link between a business and customers, which would encourage the market to spend more.
Once A�FB creates the infrastructure to attract the market to it, (i.e. Social banking, direct sales, page marketplace,A� price comparison, and so on), then it will find the ways to increase its revenues with various monetization models.
Dear Mark, I truly believe that the facebook of the future could be a competitive marketplace and one stop site for all human needs. Not just a meeting point for entertainment or news or photo sharing.
I hope my proposal can help you and your team to find the best ways.
I thank you and all the pioneers of Silicon Valley who have shaped the digital environment in which we all live.
Keep up the good work!