Like many 12 year olds Facebook wants the world to be about them. So yesterday they threw a party and wanted us all to be excited as well. But were we? Did their #friendsday video really work for you? And more importantly did it show you Facebook's real potential?
Maybe not... it's only 12 after all.
Facebook is 12. Hurrah for Facebook.
And... Like many 12 year olds born in the America from white middle class parents (and very rich godparents) Facebook is doing pretty well, very well in fact. It also has a wonderful world view.
In fact, it thinks it will rule the world. It probably will as, reported in the press, “it’s poised to overtake Google as most powerful internet company”.
It has a huge ego. So when it turned 12 it wanted the world to know.
"Each year we recognise this day as Friends Day and invite the world to celebrate and reflect on the importance of connecting. To help our community celebrate the importance of friendship, we're delivering a personalised Friends Day video to millions of people around the world.”
Facebook’s real present.
However, unlike most 12 year old’s Facebook economic power is increasing rapidly. As Facebook’s net income more than doubled in fourth quarter of 2015. This was it’s BIG present to its shareholders – a jump of 7.5% in a day!
The emphatic set of its last financial results showed quarterly revenue passing $5bn for the first time, and putting it in a position to challenge Google’s dominance of Silicon Valley.
“The social networking company’s fourth-quarter report, released on 27 January, saw a better-than-expected 51.7% jump in revenues as new advertising formats and an improved mobile app drove a sharp rise in ad sales.”
Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 80% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 69% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Its move to be “mobile first” like any good 12 year old has proved to be highly successful.
Facebook’s other present.
This year Facebook gave us all a little present. Facebook gave us a video showing our best friends and the times we have shared.
As they put it “Friends can celebrate the day by making a video of their memories. The short video is a montage of memories in photos, status updates and videos, of you and your friends that can be edited and shared.”
Friends are the backbone of Facebook, as well as connections, which are now more powerful than ever as according to the social network the average user is now just 3.75 connections away from anyone else on the site. (This used to be higher with the legend being that you are 6 connections away from everyone in the world.)
But did Facebook’s video really work for you? And be this I mean, really work? Were the friends mentioned in the video really your good friends. And I don’t mean real friends I mean real Facebook friends. Did the machine learning and AI Facebook is powered by really work? Is Facebook as clever as it thinks?
Not so clever Facebook.
The information that Facebook has about its users is amazing. The data it holds and mines is legion. Yet with all that power to analysis and predict – did they get your real friends in your video?
For me personally, the video didn’t work. It didn’t:
- Show my friends – it showed people who post things of mine more.
- Show my connections – it showed people who interrupt me on messenger.
- Show great moments of my life – it showed posts that had lots of likes…
In response to this I am going to resurrect an idea I had six year ago. A quiz based app that shows who your “real facebook” friends are i.e. people who know something about your offline lives. It gives them a score out of 10.
More importantly the app would remove those people who don’t really know you and who score below a certain number. What do you think?
My true friend app - is it a good idea?
Like all good marketing startup co-founders, I decided to test this assumption before going to code. So did other people find that the Facebook video was a fail? A few articles later, and a lot of twitter backlash, I found that to be true.
And lots more too… Funnily article alert. 12 Times Facebook Was The Creepy Guy At The Bar.
Then it was time to test did people think that my idea would be worthwhile. A quick follow of a hashtag or two on Twitter and some corresponding PPC and we had over 100 people who voted.
And the results were interesting.
More people wanted to know why rather than anything else.
After chatting to a friend of mine who does market research, next, we had to change the wording of the question! This question would tell people why the app might exist so they could anwer simply yes or no to the idea.
This is what I would love you to do. To simply answer if the app is a good idea or not.
A bit of late afternoon after work - Friday fun – with a real business reason behind it.
And do please comment below as I would love to hear your feedback.
Was I mad six years ago. Am I "even more" mad now?
Let's see what happens from here.