The tech world and beyond gathered Wednesday for another big Facebook platform announcement. The social network announced three major new features: group chat, a new chat design, and video calling with Skype. More information on the features can be found on Facebook's blog.
Naturally, at Buddy Media, we are interested in the potential opportunities for brands. As of now, don't believe all that you read: there are none.
As a Facebook spokesperson told ClickZ, "Marketers can't video call people who like their Pages and can't group chat with fans. Also ... Facebook ads can't be targeted to private information such as chat and messages."
However, here is what brand marketers and agencies should be excited about from Wednesday's announcement.
Before Mark Zuckerberg announced these new features, he laid out Facebook's view on where social media is going. "Social networking is at an inflection point now," he said, noting that the big theme used to be about connecting people. "That's interesting," he said, but, "that chapter is more or less done at this point. Now the world general believes [social software] will be everywhere."
That is one of the reasons Facebook did not formally announce that it had recently reached 750 million users. This figure was reported recently, but only formally acknowledged by Zuckerberg yesterday.
"Driving the narrative for next five years is...what kind of cool stuff and what kind of new social apps you're going to build now that you have this kind of social infrastructure in place," he said. In other words: social media is everywhere. We're mostly all already connected. Now it's about what we do with the social graph.
Another major point of the narrative is the rate at which people are sharing. People are sharing twice as much on Facebook today as a year ago, according to Zuckerberg. Four billion "things" are shared every day on Facebook, and Zuckerberg said he expected that number to double year over year.
Finally, one of the most interesting points made was that Facebook continues to be laser focused on "social infrastructure," while allowing the applications and features to be built and owned by others. "It's important to leave all the different apps to the entrepreneurs and companies that are best in class at building these things. We're different from other Internet companies out there that want to do everything for themselves. We believe that entrepreneurs that focus on one specific thing will always do better than companies that do a million different things," said Zuck.
In a world where many platforms are looking to build relationships with developers, those are reassuring words to the developer community.
Michael is currently Chairman and CEO of Buddy Media, Inc., a New York-based company whose Facebook management system, the Buddy Media Platform, is used by eight out of the top ten global advertisers. Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. He has a passion for creating, managing and growing companies from the ground up.