Do you know in which businesses Facebook operates?
1. Email – With so many status updates on facebook, you don’t need to write emails to your friends and family, enquiring about their vacation, baby births, city change, birthday greetings etc. Facebook is eating a big chunk of email business.
2. Photo Sharing – Well, there are dedicated photo sharing websites like- Picasa, Flickr etc. But where do you get the relevant and selected photos of your friends? People put photos on their Facebook profile after so much careful selection. Its one of the biggest source of relevant photos on the Internet. (Do you know who is the biggest seller of digital cameras? Nikon, Canon, Sony? Its Nokia!! They sell more cell phones with digital cameras than the digicam manufacturers.)
3. Chat – Although Facebook has a chatting feature like Gtalk, Yahoo Chat, but it is the status update and Wall features that have reduced the need to chat on everyday topics that can be easily shared with a few clicks.
4. Videos – Where do you find the videos that you might like? Do you still spend hours searching and viewing videos on YouTube to find a handful of funny videos? Of course the place to put videos is Youtube. But the place to watch videos is Facebook, where you already have pre-selected videos.
5. Market Place – Recently launched Market place on Facebook, covers the need to sell (or get rid of) our unwanted items. You can buy or sell your used/new stuff online by putting it on Facebook Market place. This is something similar to the purpose for which ebay was launched. The only difference is that now you can buy from people you trust, the people who are too much connected to lose their reputation in a social network.
6. News Sharing (like) – You like an internet site and want to share it with your friends and family. Do you prefer clicking “Send an email” link and typing email address or just clicking the “Like” button, and it gets shared with your contacts on Facebook? Well this is one of the greatest changes in the Internet business that Facebook has brought. You are so much close to relevant content in the jungle of Internet, by just this small “like” button.
7. Online Advertising – The God of Online Advertising, Google, is feeling pressure on its throne. Google search has been serving not only relevant search results but also relevant ads for the services that you would like to buy. Now Facebook is slowly eating this space by providing online ads to people who are spending more and more time on Internet on Facebook pages. Think of it – You see the new born pictures of a friend’s baby and you get a link to send a gift to the friend. How much relevant !!
8. E-Greetings – Well this is a very small business. But looks like- Facebook is going to grab most of this business by providing you reminders about upcoming birth days, anniversaries, back to school and many more events on your newsfeed.
9. Bank – From this point the futuristic things start. Facebook may launch a Bank soon and it will pose competition to not only PayPal but also our ordinary Banks. It will be like lending money to your friends or may be friends of friends on terms favorable to you.
Often you have money lying in Bank that earns a low interest rate. Sometimes a friend in need borrows money from you. Now add these two statements, a friend in need borrows your money lying in Bank and offers you a better interest rate online through Facebook. It will add value to both of you. Since both of you are on Facebook in a Social Network, a person would lose a bigger reputation by not returning your money.
So it will be safer to lend money in your network then lending it to a bank or a mortgage company. With millions of users in Facebook network, it can easily match in size with a traditional bank.
10. Travel – How do you prefer to travel? Alone or with friends? If you prefer travelling with friends, Facebook can help you organize group travels, by creating a bigger group of people in your network, to travel to a destination and get deeper discounts from Travel companies- Airlines, Hotels, Car rentals etc.
11. Hotel – Not long before the birth of hotel industry, it was common for people to travel and stay with a friend or a friend of a friend. There are some social hospitality sites where people host fellow travellers in their spare bedrooms. With Facebook, it will be more convenient to find that spare room in friend’s friend’s house rather than choosing an unknown person on the Internet.
The limit of things ot be done on Facebook are unlimited. The time will tell where we will end up with Facebok. But my prediction is that the way Apple surpassed Microsoft this year, Facebook would surpass Google in next five years.