Tagged: facebook RSS

  • jimmy 9:27 am on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, ,   

    What’s that quote about never achieving anything if you never try? I’m reminded of that when Zuckerberg took this jab at Google on Wednesday: “Entrepreneurs who focus on a specific type of thing will always do better than a company trying to do a million things.”

    Google may have tried to do “a million things”, and many have failed, but at the end of the day Google has the search market cornered, the web video market cornered, a massively successful mobile operating system, is a leader in Internet Governance (among many other things) and is worth $172 billion, more than twice Facebook’s Venture Capitalist-inflated valuation.

    Facebook has a social network dogged by privacy issues. Given that the entire point of social networking is to share private information, this is somewhat laughable.

    Now Google is putting all of their $172 billion-market-capped eggs into the social basket, not-so-famously saying that if they fail at social the company fails. (The reasoning for this is simple: Google’s cash cow is search/search ads. If Facebook decided to build a “social search engine” and pimp it their 750 million users Google would be dead. Overnight. The options are: 1. do a deal with Facebook, but Microsoft Bing beat them to that; so it’s 2. create an in-house social network to get your hands on your OWN set of “social signals” to put into search, if Facebook is killed in the process…so be it, they’re new in the Valley anyway.) The (of course unstated) goal is the utter and complete destruction of Facebook-as-we-know-it for the survival of Google. Mark Zuckerberg knows this (everyone in tech knows this, although the likes of TechCrunch pretend that there’s some weird future where Google+ and Facebook can both successfully co-exist…this is utter and complete bullshit).

    What we’re watching unfold this summer is the beginning of a literal fight to the death of Google and Facebook. Both entered the ring, only one may exit the victor.

    My money’s on Google. Sure Google fails somethings, and G+ will be a bumpy road, but Google has the maturity to try risky things and sometimes fail. Those risky failures taught Google some important things, and it seems they’ve taken the lessons they learned from Buzz, Wave and Orkut (although calling Orkut a complete failure is a bit of a stretch…it locked up the Brazil and India social media markets before Facebook went global and knocked Orkut down in those markets, what, only last year?) to heart and is crafting Google+ to be something awesome.

     
    • Elizabeth 4:24 pm on July 10, 2011 Permalink

      I like that there’s a new kid on the block with social networking, and I like that it’s a very experienced kid with a whole lot of previous, mind-blowingly successful projects under its belt. My money is also, tentatively, on Google+.

  • jimmy 9:19 am on February 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, ,   

    I love how people say Google will never be able to pull off a “social product” (like a Facebook or MySpace type service) because they’re all engineers (think Delbert) and are therefore not good at thinking in those terms, but then turn around and ascribe malice to mistakes that amount to “social awkwardness” (think Delbert at a party) on a corporate scale.

    I know it’s probably not the same people, but I kinda want to put both types of people in a room together and make them hash it out. Because both things can’t be true. Either they’re cunning geniuses who are just waiting until their servers collect enough information on all of us to enslave us all (or defraud us? Or something. It’s never quite clear. It’s just “scary”), or they’re a company full of kinda socially dumb geniuses who theoretically COULD do that, but in reality are too busy tweaking their super-fast JavaScript rendering engine to realize it.

    I’m probably beating a dead horse bringing Facebook into this, but FB knows 10 times what Google does about you, and they’re NOT awkward engineers. Do the freaking math there.

     
  • jimmy 6:47 pm on November 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, , , , zuckerberg   

    One reason I intensely dislike Zuckerberg? He’s a freaking liar. “This is not an e-mail killer.” Hello. They’re giving 500+ million users [the option of] facebook.com E-MAIL addresses. There’s NO WAY they don’t think they’re going to pull several million teens off of Gmail or Yahoo or MSN. Sure, they’re not trying to kill enterprise Outlook users, but that doesn’t make it any less of a killer of some uses of e-mail. The entire presentation reeks of this. The multiple denials of this being a “Gmail killer” seem suspect at best.

    And this is from someone who doesn’t see myself using the new product. Though I can see how the “social graph filter” feature would be very compelling to many, many people. That’s why I think it’s disingenuous to say it never crossed their minds that this could “kill” (and/or take major share from) traditional e-mail. Especially since many features of it are a ripoff of Gmail’s priority inbox and Google Wave.

    /ten cents worth

     
  • jimmy 8:34 pm on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, ,   

    Is there some kind of secret pact among tech bloggers that anyone who thinks The Social Network is anything but a purely fictitious pack of lies must be destroyed and/or had hundreds of words devoted to mocking them? I haven’t seen the movie, nor have I ever met Zuckerberg, but the pure and unwavering support of FB coming from the tech blogosphere is kind of weird to me. Is it simply that they don’t want to lose access to not just sources at Facebook, but also any other “satellite” company that would be scared of “crossing” FB by talking to someone critical of them?

    Am I being too conspiratorial? Is it simply the fact that The Social Network is a pack of fictitious lies and the bloggers have nothing better to talk about? (Actually don’t answer that, because at this point I’ve put on my tinfoil hat and quite honestly trust nobody on this issue.)

     
  • jimmy 7:04 am on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, , ,   

    In a post about downtime on their engineering blog, @twitter happened to let us know how many users that had as of last Monday: “more than 125 million”. A quick Google search reveals that it was mid-April (or slightly earlier) when they hit 100 million users. Since I don’t feel like doing the math for annual growth rates, and since my main goal here is to compare this to Facebook, let’s just do that straight away. Facebook helpfully tells us it was February when they hit 400 million. That means they were quite a bit larger than 400 million in April, meaning Twitter’s 100 million was between 20-25% of FBs userbase.

    Last week Twitter had “more than 125 million users” and FB celebrated their 500 millionth. That means Twitter now has OVER 25% of FBs user numbers.

    Maybe that small number is nothing to be excited about, but with people going on about how fast Facebook is growing, Twitter is growing faster.

    P.S. to provide a more accurate “historical” data point of users for both services (rather than the vague “100 million vs. north of 400 million” in April comparison I did above) I dug up how many users Twitter had in February…only I couldn’t find numbers from February, so I used numbers from January and estimated for February…still better than the above comparison, which involves no estimation: Twitter had 75 million users in January, and was growing at a rate of 6.2 million per month. On the other hand, on April 14 the service had 105 million users, so that would lead to a growth rate of more like 10 mil/month during the January/April period. Still, this gives us a nice small window of 81.2-85 million users in February. Comparing against Facebook’s 400 million in Feb, that’s somewhere between 20.3% and 21.25%. So, splitting the difference, in February Twitter had 21% the users FB had. By July that number was 4% higher.

    So, doing the math again, Twitter is still growing faster than Facebook.

    Just saying.

     
  • jimmy 8:18 am on July 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, , , , zynga   

    TechCrunch reported today that Google has invested over $100 million into the gaming company Zynga (they make Farmville, among many other Facebook games). In addition, Google is hiring an extremely high level “Product Manager, Games.”

    This, in my mind at least, adds creditably to both the idea that Google is creating a social network (“Google Me”…I sure hope they rethink that name) to rival Facebook (why else would they be going into the gaming space in a big way, and with Facebook’s biggest provider of games to boot?) and that they’re making sure to do it right, as I talked about a few days ago.

     
  • jimmy 11:17 am on July 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, , ,   

    The fact that Facebook has been buying other companies JUST to snap up ex-Googlers is EXACTLY why Google is (rumoredly) building Google Me. I’ve made no bones about my growing distaste for Facebook (or my love of Google, for that matter), so I would love to see Google go into the social space (and with something a bit more thoughtout than Google Buzz, please?) and it seems to me that Facebook going on a multi-million dollar spending spree to hire former Google employees into top Facebook positions isn’t helping them avoid a challenge from Google.

    One theory says that with Facebook’s half a billion users and Google’s rocky track record with social media Facebook need not be very concerned with such rumors, and that may well be true. But that’s not how I see it. Despite the mumblings of folks who say Google’s only ever been successful with one thing (memo to such people: SUCCESS doesn’t always equal “profit”. Just look at Firefox, which holds the #2 spot in the browser wars while being completely free; or Google Chrome for that matter, which is the browser with the fastest growth rate and also completely free) Google has, in fact, a huge array of products and services that have had varying degrees of success (search, obviously, has had the most success, but also Google Maps (anybody use MapQuest anymore?), GMail (not as big as Yahoo! or MSN, but arguably the better of the three), YouTube (not created by Google but nurtured by them since they bought the service in 2007, and a great source of social media experience for the company), Blogger (like YouTube, Google bought it in 2003 and has been gaining experience from it ever since), Orkut (a social network built by a Google employee and very popular (to the tune of 100 million active users) in Brazil and India) and, of course, Android, to name only a few. Goggle Buzz, which many people cite as proof that Google only understands algorithmic things like search and serving ads based on keywords, I think was and as a well-meaning attempt at social media, and I think the last 6 months of trying to do “high-profile” social media development has probably taught the company a lot about how to approach this area. Before (and even still mostly since) Buzz was launched the social elements of most Google products (comments on a YouTube video or sharing something in Google Reader) has been separate and (I presume) managed by a different team (Orkut, for example, is managed by people on an entirely different continent from most of the other Google services’ managers). My sense and hope (and this is only a theory, backed up with only a few quotes here and there) is that after the issues raised by the Buzz release Google realized they needed to be even more focused on social if they want to meaningfully play (and I think anyone who wants to survive on the web over the next 5-10 years needs to “play” with social: either linking in (via Facebook Connect (*shudder*) or Twitter’s oAuth, or whatever) or being the ones linked in to (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)) and that they need to make their next move more than just a “side project”. All this means they need to not just let a couple of employees build something cool (like Orkut or Google Wave), but they need to dig around all 10,000 of their engineers, they need to find the 3 dozen who know how social works (if Facebook has managed to hire so many ex-Googlers who know social, there must be some still at Google…I hope) and they need to put them together in a room with a representative from every team that manages a product or service that Google wants to integrate with their social network (YouTube, Blogger, Orkut, Buzz, etc.).

    Then they need to hire someone from the EFF to make sure they don’t create a company-imploding privacvy shitstorm, and they also need to poach somebody from Apple’s (or maybe HTC’s) UI design team to make it look awesome.

    That’s probably not exactly what they’re doing, but I’m hoping this is a metaphor for reality.

    This…kinda took a different direction from how I meant it to. It also took me 90 minutes to write (all those sources, and possibly because I have an addled brain from a head cold and being awake all night) so I’m going to leave whatever it is at this point and take myself off to bed…since 7am is waaaaaaay past my bedtime.

     
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