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How Facebook Will Get To 1 Billion members

Some might wonder if Facebook will ever reach 1 billion users, however Mark Zuckerberg is confident about it. And I think  he is right, Facebook is the platform that can grow to this number an even finance its growth.

Since Facebook is thriving on information that users provide (your data is their biggest asset), they might even want to make sure that with the number of new users joining, they still acquire more and more information of their users. Facebook will earn more money if they have more data (and they might already earn around 1 billion a year), so why shouldn’t Facebook just pay every user who completes his profile.

By not only offering the incentive of keeping in touch with your friends and catching up with old friends and like minds, but by also offering some money ($5?) for a completed profile. It would be easy for Facebook to get to 1 billion members and collecting more information from its users. Both the amount of users as the immense data set will push the revenues of Facebook and will increase the  dominance of Facebook on the Web.

However entering data in a profile is easy, though incorrect information will devalue Facebook. Data validation should be just another part of the social ecosystem of Facebook. For example: your friends can validate your profile, making sure your will get your $5 dollars from Facebook (maybe even in micropayments for you and your friends per ‘slice’ of data you provide and is approved). Or: your friends can provide the information to Facebook and you can validate this information and approve the publication of the data.

Using this process Facebook gets more interconnected, creating more activity on the platform and it might even create more relations. And again, even this process will increase the value of Facebook. So paying $5 per complete profile might be just a bargain for Facebook.

Join The Conversation

  • Jul 2 Posted 7 years ago Ben Bland (not verified)

    Interesting idea but it grates with me somehow. I cling to the excitement of using so many online services for free, and pay for a few premium services. The idea of being paid a cursory sum for adding my data seems backward.

    Facebook became, and still is, a draw for many non-members because they see their companions getting use and enjoyment out of it and want to take part. Once in, there are benefits to supplying more personal information in the form of personalised services. That's the incentive and it works both ways, pushing the supplier (Facebook) to build a better, more personalised offering in return for more personal data from the user. I think that's fairer and more productive than paying for it.

  • Jul 2 Posted 7 years ago Scott Plocharczyk (not verified)

    Great perspective and approach.  While I agree the approach could be successful in achieving the 1 billion member goal, I suspect Zuckerberg, his employees, and even the investors will shun the "pay-4-member" model. Too much pride (and rightfully so), and while your point around the value of user-profile content couldn't be more true, I believe the perception of Facebook for having paid for whatever deficiency in member numbers remaining would have a detrimental impact on three fronts: 

    • Valuation of Facebook
    • Community Dilution 
    • Existing Member Retaliation (or minimally some level of resentment)
    However, what I suspect will happen is very much in-line with your idea of enticing prospective members with a monetary carrot.  A carrot that goes beyond the existing incentives you've outlined above; keeping in touch, reacquainting, and shared interests - the things that have gotten 1/2 billion people like you and me there today.
    This carrot is going to be driven by brands of all shapes and sizes and will be further enhanced and accelerated through third party social marketing communications platforms.  It's difficult to find a major brand these days without a Facebook fan page now providing an invitation on their corporate website to become a fan on Facebook. Nearly all promotional emails I receive from retail, financial, travel, and media & entertainment brands include; follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  
    The efforts of these brands has already paid significant dividends to Facebook by way of spikes in their membership base.  A recent study was just conducted analyzing and identifying the Top 50 branded Facebook pages. http://bit.ly/bbjSTq  The Top 25 brands have attracted 100 million fans alone!
    So you're probably saying; "Where's the carrot?", while simultaneously concluding that these brands offer incentives, coupons, contests, etc.  So yes, that's part of it, but I predict the next big thing, the thing that will significantly move the needle and accelerate membership spikes for Facebook, and drive revenue for brands will be the proliferation of portable widgets and embedded content sharing.  
    There are companies like Shoutlet http://www.shoutlet.com/ who enable brands to build compelling content for distribution and sharing that enable them to attract and engage new customers and fans through the viral use of widgets, video, web mail, podcast, RSS, etc.  These tools and techniques have enabled numerous brands to add tens-of-thousands of fans (new to Facebook).  These new Facebook members received branded offers, or calls-to-action, through emails from friends, share widgets on blogs, embedded in sites, or shared through other social networks - many outside off Facebook's social grid.
    I call this "Word-of-Widget", and these are the carrots that I see helping Facebook achieve it's goal of 1 billion members, and helping brands attract new customers in creative, compelling and cost-effective ways.
    Thanks for the post!  Feel free to follow: @wordofwidget.com


  • Jul 1 Posted 7 years ago Kevin (not verified)

    What sort of business model would that be?  Paying people $5 each when your current revenue stream is $2 per head?!?

     You're down $3 per person already. Multiply that by 1 billion (or half a billion,,,who really cares) and take that to some VC for some investment money. Pray you have thick skin.

  • Jun 29 Posted 7 years ago Turning Winds (not verified)

    Like before most of the social networking sites never anticipate the huge influence of Facebook. This flatform gives new innovations that most social networking sites don't have. And I also believe of what Mark predicts that it would hit 1 billion users.

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