The most striking thing at this week’s F8 keynote was the confidence and the matureness of Mark Zuckerberg. Opening with important messages about the refugee situation and human rights, he continued with a run-though of the company’s 10 year plan, that breaks with the tradition of the tech industry. The young man in the grey t-shirt is now a mature father in a grey t-shirt.
This speech was personally important to me and I spent a lot of time writing it. Even if it’s unusual for a CEO to address world issues and lay out a 10 year roadmap to improve them, I care deeply about connecting the world and bringing people together, so I wanted to put this out there. It’s different from any other speech I’ve given.
The 10 year plan focuses on three main areas: connectivity, artificial intelligence and virtual & augmented reality. Interestingly, there was not a word about the blockchain, which is where I see the future not only for social but for tech itself. An area where Microsoft seems to be the only big tech investor in Silicon Valley right now.
Also, Search and Video are now main business areas in a direct showdown with Google on their home turf. Internal search and video is a no brainer, but since Facebook want to be a closed eco-system, they will have a disadvantage to the more open Google/YouTube approach. One of the big dilemmas in social right now is: “FB Video or YouTube”. Professionals say: put your video all over the place. Including Twitter and Vimeo.
But the slide that caught my eye (and I seem to be the only one, who took this screen shot) was a new overview of the current product portfolio. For the first time, it was segmented into reach (including an update on the mindblowing numbers of users) more than functionality and technology. They didn’t dwell on it much, so I wanted to give my thoughts on the breakdown.
The 5 main products are:
- WhatsApp (one-to-one)
- Messenger* (small groups)
- Facebook (friends)
- Groups** (community)
- Instagram (world)
WhatsApp is now marketed as the one-to-one product. That basically means they want WhatsApp to be your new telephone. The product will compete with Skype, Viber, Hangouts. And your landline if you still have one. And WeChat.
Messenger will emerge as an entirely new platform next to the mother platform. With messenger apps and bots being the new social, Messenger is now being positioned as the next gen social platform to compete with Kakao, LINE, Slack, Telegram. And WeChat.
Facebook wants the whole world to be friends, which is a pretty good business model. The platform is rock solid and a money printing machine. Facebook is the biggest advertising platform the world has ever seen. They have no real competition. Except maybe WeChat.
Groups is the secret weapon in the Facebook arsenal. The themed communities inside the global community are the segmented social networks, we all predicted a decade ago. Competition here could come from Google+ and Reddit. And WeChat.
Instagram is the best buy since Google bought YouTube. Once a fun little ‘polaroid app’ for iOS, Instagram has evolved into one of the premier social platforms and is now outnumbering Twitter, which is the only real competitor right now. And WeChat.
So how should you use these products as a brand, a company, an organisation?
Use this app as your alternative phone. Update your phone lists with WhatsApp information. Make WhatsApp calls and messages instead of phone calls and texts.
Start building workgroups on the platform. Messenger will probably be one of the most important platforms in the near future. See it as an alternative to Slack and Twitter. It could be a crucial CRM and project management tool (as well as tons of other things).
The mother of everything social is your premier advertising and e-commerce platform. Advertise your products here. Brand your company here. Sell your products here.
The hidden gem in the portfolio. Build small and middle size communities inside Facebook. They can be based on anything from general interest in a theme to a community for a specific product. Make sure to have editors ready to drive the group(s).
This is where the party is right now. Expect Instagram to be a full fledged social platform in the coming years including full video and external links. Build your followings now.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to get a proposal for a Facebook strategy.
You can follow me on Facebook here:
I am the editor of two closed groups and two open groups and the producer of numerous Facebook pages and Instagram channels.
*I still don’t get how they managed to shanghai that brand from Microsoft.
**Facebook should market this product on groups.com (which is for sale).