Facebook has a problem according to the stock market. It lost almost half it’s value since the IPO. The problem is mobile.
No, the problem is not mobile. The problem is a problem that no-one found an answer to: “how to monetize mobile”.
Facebook’s biggest issue is that their business modell can’t be directly applied to mobile. And that’s a massive problem – I actually can’t remember when last I’ve used Facebook’s desktop version. I either fire up the FB iOS app or access the newsfeed through flipboard or pulse.
I’ve you compare above screenshots you know why. Let’s be realistic here, the FB app is one of the worst apps for iOS but it’s still better than the cluttered desktop version.
Facebook’s problem is not the amount of mobile traffic – and they’re making through acquisitions sure (Instagram, Glancee) that no other mobile social network can grow – but how to make money with all that traffic?
The second biggest income generator – the selling of virtual goods mostly through Zynga – simply doesn’t work on mobile. Zynga must be biting their butts now that flash is dead…
Facebook’s money making machine, advertising, doesn’t work either on mobile. The only way to get advertising mobile is to change the ‘no ads in the news feed’ philosophy. That’s kind of the case with sponsored stories but I understand Facebook’s hesitation. Mixing the news feed with paid for entries will make many users upset.
So the big question is – will Facebook solve the open question “how to monetize mobile” or will it fail?
My bold statement: mobile is going to be Facebook’s slow death. Facebook won’t exist in its form in 3 years from now. It’s either going to be a virtual ghost town or a sale candidate without an buyer. Goodbye Facebook.