In under two hours Facebook is going to be making a big announcement that could have a bigger impact on the virtual world than we all might think at first glance. When Facebook makes moves, they make big moves, and when they build up hype around an announcement, a big move is on the way.
Facebook has already impacted the search world and the domain world as more and more people are using the platform every year to perform web searches like they would on Google or Bing. After buying Instragram Facebook also now has control over how we all share photos online and Facebook Usernames have become premium digital assets in some cases, similar to domains. Now I say similar here because I would not ever in a million years say that a Facebook username is as valuable as a domain, it’s not, but there are some similarities and without a doubt Facebook has made an impact on the domain world.
So I thought I’d play futurist for a minute and run through a few things that Facebook could be announcing and the impact I think it will have on the Internet this year. These are of course just guesses on my part and I will mention that I am a proud Facebook shareholder so I, like many other shareholders, am hoping the news brings the stock up up and away!
The Facebook Phone (10% chance)
I honestly don’t think Facebook has much interest in creating a phone of their own. In September Mark came out and said it himself and I really think Facebook has already won this market since it is one of the most used apps on both Android and Apple phones.
Updated Facebook News Feed (15% chance)
While I think this could happen this year, I don’t think Facebook would make such a big deal about the announcement if this is all they were going to talk about, sorry, it’s just not exciting enough which is why I think there’s only a 15% chance it’s going to happen.
New Messaging System + Fees (15% chance)
Facebook has been looking-into the concept of charging for messages to ensure they reach a specific users inbox. While I do think this is something they will be doing this year or next, I don’t think they’re going to make a big deal about an announcement that revolves around new fees. It would be like the government getting everyone excited about an announcement and then telling us we all have to pay more taxes.
New Mobile Advertising Strategy (40% chance)
Now we’re getting to the good stuff – mobile advertising, yum! Everyone wants to know how Facebook is going to approach mobile and a new mobile advertising strategy or network would be big and worthy of an announcement. That being said, I still don’t think this is what they will announce since it doesn’t have the kind of sizzle you’d expect for a hyped-up announcement like this. I do think they’ll probably cover this in their earnings call on the 30th though.
Facebook Moves Into Search (51% chance)
Just one percent above 50%, this is the first announcement I think could happen today. After buying Instagram Facebook has an edge over Google when it comes to image data, combine this with the fact that Mark likes the idea of people using Facebook to answer questions, and you have the makings of a real Google competitor. Still, I see this as a longer-term play for Facebook and not something they’re ready to move into quite yet, but I do think Google should be on their toes (and I’m sure they are) because Facebook is definitely disrupting search one way or another.
The Facebook Tablet (75% chance)
I think that all of the hype around this announcement is for Facebook’s first move into the hardware world. Facebook could make a low-cost Android tablet that would help it create a more unified Facebook experience. I see this a bit like Google’s Chromebooks where a device is built for a specific task. Given how much time some people spend on Facebook a tablet could be a huge success. Of course it begs the question, “Why not just buy one of the zillion other Android tablets on the market?” However I’m thinking Facebook will do something special with theirs that you can’t do with the others.
I’m not going to go above 75% since these are just guesses so the percentages don’t mean much anyways! What do you think Facebook is going to announce? At 1:00PM EST we will all know, stay-tuned!