How Facebook Will Take Over the World

How Facebook Will Take Over the World
   Several years ago people were talking about Google taking over the IT world (presumably from Microsoft). Now Google are probably the most influential IT company but the pace at which it grows has slowed considerably. The illusion that everything bearing the Google trademark is innovative and super cool is slowly but surely wearing off. However we cannot live without Google's product today much like we cannot live without Microsoft's. Now the question is "Who is next?" and my answer is - Facebook.

   To understand what I mean you should let go of your understanding of Facebook as a social networking website. The buggy PHP frontend plays secondary role in Facebook's ascension to world domination. Instead you should think of Facebook as a service. This service allows third party applications to consume the user's profile information like name, profile picture, etc. This effectively allows the service to skip the registration process and allow the user to use his Facebook profile instead. However this is nothing new. Single sign-on has been around for a while. We have Microsoft's Windows Live ID, the Google Account, the Yahoo! ID and many more. We even have the independent OpenID which can in a way unite the abovementioned identity providers. What does Facebook have that makes me think it is going to win over the competition and become the universal online identity?

   The key to world domination is the social graph that Facebook has built. Our online identities are much more than an account and a picture. They include our contacts as well and Facebook has the greatest social graph of all services. It is a social graph that users built themselves. The e-mail contact list does not represent the users' social connections as Google hoped when they automatically connected people in Buzz and caused users' backlash. Many services and applications would like to use this social graph for boosting their own social features, for viral marketing and many more.

   Blizzard's 2.0 is a perfect example of what I believe is going to happen all over the Internet. They are launching this new service that has this contact list, chat and is meant to help you play games with your friends but since it is a new service the contact list is uncomfortably empty. Luckily the solution is simple - just integrate with Facebook. My contact list gets new members about five times faster now that it can consume my Facebook contacts. I believe that in the future will post stuff to my profile and further enhance the popularity of the game I play. Imagine something as viral as FarmVille but the game is not annoying, web-based, farming piece of shit but the greatest competitive game in existence.

   Maybe a time will come when applications will not implement their own user accounts. Why do it if Facebook provides existing solution? Right now there are performance and reliability problems that need to be solved if a developer wants to outsource his Users database table to the Facebook servers but with advancements in technology this issues can just disappear or they can be solved with changes to the way that Facebook serves user identity.

   It is important to note that is not web based in any way (at least now) but it still integrates with Facebook. There are desktop and mobile Facebook clients. There are chat clients that can be used to connect with Facebook's Jabber based chat and many more non-web stuff. The web is just one of the cloud services that Facebook provides and it is the one that I am least excited about.

   Undoubtedly many people will object saying that Facebook is not serious and everything that is posted there is garbage and serious people will not use it. There is a small problem with this theory. Facebook does not publish anything. FACEBOOK IS ONLY STUPID IF YOUR FRIENDS ARE STUPID. If you are one of the people who find Facebook stupid I believe you have a problem and not Facebook. That being said I also have friends and people I know that tend to fill my feed with crap. There is a simple solution to that - ignore. First ignore the applications and if that does not work ignore the people. The good news is that after all the ignores I still have a feed full of interesting and useful information.

   There is also the concern about privacy. While this is a serious issue it seems like Facebook is working hard to solve privacy related problems. With every update there are more and better privacy options. I particularly liked when they made the applications prompt separately for each permission they required. This will discourage applications from requiring more data than they need to function because users will likely get annoyed by clicking "Allow" too many times. Many countries have launched investigations and have requirements for privacy so Facebook will undoubtedly fix the issues.

   Mark Zuckerberg is really clever guy with a strong vision that Facebook should be a service instead of just a social network. If he plays his cards right and he has a bit of luck he can be the next Steve Jobs/Bill Gates/Larry Ellison/Brin & Page (pick your favorite IT hero). I am pretty sure Facebook will not be the only identity provider on the Internet. The abovementioned Windows Live ID, Google Account and OpenID will still exist and remain important and banking and billing systems will still use their own user accounts but Facebook is certainly in position to become the dominant and most important of them all.

   However one question remains. How are they going to make money out of this?
Tags:   english tech 
Posted by:   Stilgar
02:53 31.05.2010


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Posted by   ivelinka   on   15:35 31.05.2010

If you don't have Facebook you don't exist!

Posted by   Stilgar   on   18:33 31.05.2010

What is more your value as a person is determined by the number of your Facebook friends!

Posted by   ___XXX_X_XXX___   on   01:14 01.06.2010

Абе скоро някой от вас да е настъпвал лайно ? Или да е помирисвал зеленко ? Или да е стъпвал в кал ? Нещо реално да сте правили наскоро (реалния секс не се брои защото виртуалния разтоварва по-добре, пък и реалния не е нещо с което човек да се хвали и да го иска - все едно да ми се копае по обяд на 50 градуса на сянка ама сянка да няма) ?

Posted by   ivelinka   on   12:01 01.06.2010

ми явно, след забележката за реалния секс, не сме правили нищо реално! обаче имам 290 приятели във Facebook.:)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   14:56 01.06.2010

Molia da ne se burkat poniatiata. Nie pravim izkliuchitelno mnogo realni neshta. Igraem igri, postvame neshta v spybook, commitvame kod, browse-vame stranici. Ti kato gledam imash predvid FIZICHESKI neshta, koeto e suvsem razlichno ot realni. Molia da ne se burka realnia sviat s fizicheskia sviat!

Posted by   ___XXX_X_XXX___   on   01:32 02.06.2010

Ама разбира се че всичко което правите е реално. Все пак за да го правите си мърдаш китката и евентуално пръстите за да стреляш на игрите. А аз карам всеки ден колело, минавам през дупките, катеря се по тротоарите, заобикалям колите, нося го по стълбите на подлезите... Даже си позволявам събота и неделя да ходя да карам в Морската градина, където, представяш ли си - ИМА ХОРА !!! Тук таме се срещат И ЖЕНИ !!! :)

Posted by   ivelinka   on   18:43 03.06.2010

Ауу, хубаво че ни напомни колко гаден е физическият свят :):)

Posted by   Нйарлатхотеп (Unregistered)   on   19:33 04.06.2010

Реалността е за тези, които не могат да си позволят добра видеокарта.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   19:43 04.06.2010

Ne se kazva "realnost", a "fizicheski sviat"!

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   00:27 03.02.2011

Muahahaha "FACEBOOK IS ONLY STUPID IF YOUR FRIENDS ARE STUPID" - I've always reminded this to facebook haters :-D

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