Facebook is Like the Fickle Teenage Girl

Yesterday I had the opportunity to have very long conversation with a good friend about Facebook and how their business model is broken. Every time I mentioned that Facebook is something that is not 100% necessary my friend would point out that it is a necessary evil just to get through the college years. I can completely understand this as almost everyone in college uses Facebook to connect. They do this rather than actually picking up the phone and making a call. Unfortunately, this is not the best method of communication and there is room for error.

Facebook is "That" Fickle Girl

My very good friend also mentioned that there were many updates to the Facebook layout over the last several months and several years. They explained that some of these layouts were a pain in the neck as you would see that Facebook would try it for a day or two and then they would take it away. One example is that Facebook sent a notification on their iPhone stating that a Facebook friend had wished another friend to a happy birthday. This is something they had never seen before and they have not seen it since. The particular friend that was mentioned in the notification is not a close friend and there is no reason that the notification should have been sent to the iPhone.

An aspect that is very common is that Facebook will try an update on pages or to the layout and then completely pull them away within the next day or two. It is almost like Facebook is trying something for one or two days and seeing what happens and then completely axing the project. Does this sound familiar? If this doesn't sound like a teenage girl that breaks up with her boyfriend every other day I don't know what does.

Something that is very common about Google and the Google social layer is that they have a long-term goal with what they want to accomplish. Any time there is a change they do digest the response from the users but they do not pull a project a day or two after starting. In fact, some people have said that Google products stay around too long. One example of this is Google Buzz. I think most users knew to Google Buzz was never meant to compete with Twitter but Google kept around for several months too long.

That said, with the new Google social product, Google+, Google realizes that it is a long-term goal and they need to integrate it into all of their products. It will take a lot of time but they are slowly going to weave it into Google search, Google maps, YouTube, Android and every other Google service. Their long-term goal is to make money off this by generating more relevant searches for Google users. It seems to be the case that Facebook really does not have a long-term business model and that is why they try something and then stop it so quickly.

What is Facebook's Long Term Business Model?

I have said, multiple times, Facebook struggles because they do not have a solid long-term business model. In fact, each and every time I listen to a conference call it seems to indicate that they have something new they are trying to use to monetize mobile. We've heard all about the different Facebook apps and new Facebook Home launcher but who knows what will happen next. This 15-year-old girl of a company will probably come up with something silly like a competitor to SnapChat. Oh wait, that already happened.

I know most tech companies go through the growing pains when they are very young in the business cycle. Most of these companies have a long-term goal in mind and they stick to that goal. When Amazon first started they knew that they were going to sell products online even though it started as a bookstore. They turned to this business model into a multi billion dollar company. It seems as if Facebook wants to try every possible business model they can come up with but they never stick to one specific product.Kids on Facebook

I honestly don't know what product will work for Facebook but they will never know because they cannot stick to one specific product. They are like that 15-year-old girl that has three different boyfriends that she keeps bouncing around. Eventually she is going to ruin the relationship with all three guys without due to her fickle nature. This is how I feel about Facebook and I don't know how anyone can invest money in the company.

My Personal Experience on Facebook

Some of you may know that my personal experience on Facebook is the classic story. I had multiple ex-girlfriends that tried to track what I was doing and it made my life miserable. Not only were my ex-girlfriends trying to figure out what I was doing but many of my friends were also trying to see who I was talking to and who had become Facebook friends with me. This is not a very enjoyable life as you are answering questions all day.

Once again, this is very similar to a middle school or high school girls life. Anyone who has been on Facebook for more than several months knows that relationships can have problems because of the access to other people. I would be willing to bet that most people who are under the age of 35 have had to answer questions because of someone talking to them on Facebook or someone responding to one of their updates.

If you do not think this is just like a 15-year-old girl you need to open your eyes. There are many other social networks and some of them act in the same way but they are not traded on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange looking to make money. The only way Facebook is going to grow out of that teenage girls state is if they finally start to make money and that has yet to happen. When the stock price gets above that early $44 IPO price maybe Facebook will grow up a bit.




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