It was back in May of 2007 when Facebook had less than 20 million users when I decided to bet the future of my company on Facebook. I remember it clear as day, going into the office and telling our team that we’re done being who we were up until that day. From that day forward we were building consumer-facing experiences within Facebook. Most of them were shocked and somewhat worried, but I knew that it was the right thing to do for the company. I had been on Facebook since its early days and saw the writing on the wall (pun intended). Facebook would one day be bigger and more profitable than Yahoo!
Fast forward five years, and people are still questioning the validity of Facebook, and its capability to generate meaningful revenues and profits as a public company. I’m sure that these are the same people that see Facebook as yet another Social Network – one that will come to pass in the same manner as Friendster and Myspace did. It is to those people that I speak to today. To the layman, Facebook may be just another social network, but the smart money knows that Facebook is far more than that.
Facebook is the Identity and Relationship Management Platform of the web, consoles, and mobile devices.
- For consumers, it enables the development and management of their individual identity and relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.
- For brands, it enables the development and management of their brand identity and relationships with constituents – consumers, partners, and shareholders.
Facebook has, and will grow to have an even more profound impact on the lives of billions of people and the way that brands engage with their constituents. It has forever augmented consumer behaviors and is singlehandedly reshaping marketing and advertising, as we know it. The days of interruptive ads are numbered. Storytelling and relationship building are the future.
As for GM coming out and saying that they’ll stop advertising on Facebook this week, the move was about as classy as Kim Kardashian’s recent marriage and will have as much of an impact to the future of Facebook as me telling a someone on the street that I won’t buy a Chevy will have on GM’s bottom line this quarter.
My friends, Facebook is here to stay…and grow. While they don’t have everything figured out quite yet, the company is well on its way and has already done more for mankind than most companies. I have built a business on top of the Facebook ecosystem that has had 18 quarters of consecutive growth in profits since 2008. Facebook is taking the right approach to making money; they are putting users first, while at the same time redefining what it means for marketers to build relationships and engage consumers at unprecedented scale.