Not so long ago I was VERY excited about the chance to buy some of Facebook’s stock, fast forward three weeks and I’m beginning to doubt if I’ll ever choose to buy stock. Since being floated on the stock market Facebook’s share prices have consistently gone down, resulting in a colossal 30% drop in share prices. This has lead to Eric Jackson, the founder of investment firm Ironfire Capital to predict, “In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared. Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10 percent of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”
The problems seem to be coming from a lot of different angles from Facebook, and at the minute, with the roll out of new features and services, it looks like they are trying to find their feet in an incredibly fast paced world. This week alone there have been renewed rumours about a Facebook phone, giving pre-teens access to the site, and the launch of Facebook’s app center. This all seems well and good, the platform is evolving, but, given the recent Facebook down-time, and the numerous reported bugs as of late, it seems as though Facebook may be trying to improve upon itself to appease the stock holders and raise share prices.
One of the 35 stumbling blocks that was recognised when Facebook floated was the fact that the mobile experience wasn’t the best. Facebook have tried to get ahead in the mobile scene, recentkly acquiring Instagram, one of the most popular social photo sharing apps on mobile, for $1 billion; but (to me) it all seems a tad ‘too-little-too-late’. Facebook have never been a pioneering force behind mobile, and they realise that they need to be.
Global page views from mobile have doubled in the last year, now accounting for almost 10% of web hits, and Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. all need to take note, as this number is only going to increase with the birth of the mobile web 3.0.
There’s no doubting that Facebook is king when it comes to social media, but they are way down the ranks when it comes to mobile. They are attempting to move into the market, creating apps such as FB messenger, Camera and Pages, but it will be a big move to try to adapt the leviathan that is Facebook.com to a truly mobile experience.
The last big company that tried to switch tact in order to stay with times was Google. When they launched Google+ there was a lot of buzz around the industry, but now it’s a ghost town. Bearing this in mind Facebook will have to face simliar challenges and avoid simliar pitfalls if they want to become a leader in the newly emerging mobile/social realm. So for now, I think I’ll hold on to my pennies.