Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Facebook's 300m users

(By Richard Holway 9.00am Wednesday 16th Sept 09) Mark Zuckerberg's blog yesterday carried news that Facebook had passed 300m users and was now cashflow positive. So that's 100m additional users in just six months. Not just the young. The major growth now is in 30+ age groups.
There seems little doubt that Facebook has become THE social networking site of choice; certainly amongst both our clients and my friends. Monetizing this pretty powerful position is still going to be difficult - but clearly Facebook is 'getting there'. Contrasting Facebook to ITV (also in the news today - see today's FT ITV in race against time) shows how Facebook has been gaining users as ITV loses them. The collective experience today is NOT the Morecambe and Wise show - it's Facebook. The trouble is that we both accept ads on the telly and, actually, rather like them (for proof see the meerkats!) The converse applies to the net, and Facebook in particular, where we find them intrusive.

That's why I STILL believe that Facebook's real value is as a portal to the Cloud. Indeed, Facebook's planned new services (like its VOIP service) make it more amd more likely to be many people's first port of call on their MIDs. For three years now I've suggested that Microsoft should buy Facebook to leapfrog their own consumer Cloud services. With more news like this from Facebook, the argument just grows more compelling.

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