Friday, 2 November 2007

Facebook data goldmine

What will the future hold for Facebook? Will it stuff itself full of ads to milk its position as number one social networking site? It's highly likely...

There's no question Facebook is sitting on a data goldmine, with an exhaustive amount of information on people's preferences, backgrounds, and social histories--all given voluntarily by members. Facebook has profiles that include people's favorite music, television shows, books, and hobbies; their job history, education, birth date, and marital status; as well as daily activities, social networks, and interest groups. Traditional ad networks would kill for all that information in one place.

Taken from: Can Facebook feed its ad brains?

My take on this is that they probably will have a bash, get it wrong and get taken over by either Microsoft, Google or Yahoo all of which have people with the right expertise and the tech to pull this off. At which point the largest social networking website will have started haemorrhaging users to whatever alternative / new social networking site appears, or to the next "big thing". Facebook will make vast profits for a while but in five years we will be saying, are you on Facebook? No, me neither. It was the viagra ads that killed it. And the hackers. And the identity thefts.

So while I'm predicting doom and gloom in the long term for Facebook, in the short term a lot of people are going to get very, very rich.

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