Based on the recent moves by Facebook, and should we say MSN, the Strategic Faceoff in today's market is clearly Facebook against the rest and who can move the fastest and outsmart the other. Consider the following recent moves:
Strategy #1: Go After the Ad Space
Facebook's Social Ad Network: Erick Schonfeld from Techcrunch writes:
"Just as Google is preparing to take Facebook head-on with its own social-networking platform, it appears that Facebook is preparing to take on Google with its own social ad network. The announcement of what people are already calling SocialAds is expected next week on November 6 at New York's ad:tech conference (a day after Google was originally supposed to announce a new set of open APIs and third-party apps for its social network, Orkutâ€"now expected to be pushed a few days)."
"What is SocialAds? We'll have to wait for the actual announcement to see, but here is what we know so far (or think we know): It will be how Facebook will actually start to make real moneyâ€"both through ads on its own site and on other sites through a new ad network it is about to launch (presumably with its ad partner and new investor Microsoft). SocialAds will be an attempt to be like Google's AdSense, except that it will allow ads to be targeted to Facebook members' individual interests and profile data rather than the text on a given Web page."
"This targeting will be done by placing cookies on Facebook members' browsers when they visit the social site, so that they can be identified later when they visit other sites hosting SocialAds. Facebook is already experimenting with targeting ads on its own site (through its Facebook Flyers program) based on demographic and psychographic data that it culls from members' profiles. With SocialAds, it will be able to extend that targeting across the Web." read the whole story here......
Strategy #2: Go After the Business Crowd
An Imediaconnect.com article states: "On the same day that Facebook announced the Microsoft sale, Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook's co-founder, said to a packed room at CTIA, "It's so exciting to see so many members of the business community coming on Facebook."
"There is no question at this point in Facebook's strategic evolution that it is actively pursuing this demographic. The Facebook-BlackBerry partnership distinguishes Facebook from MySpace, as it demonstrates Facebook's interest in serving the adult, business (and high net-worth) community. At the same time, this expansion of reach and utility gives Facebook an edge over the business networking tool LinkedIn, which may be surprised to discover that Facebook has become a competitor."
"LinkedIn used to be the network for professionals, but now those same professionals are "friending" each other on Facebook. Facebook offers many more ways for business people to stay in touch and up-to-date. On Facebook, they can track each other's conversations, see each other's photos and join likeminded interest groups. If networking is about building connections â€" not just making contact â€" Facebook has a significant edge over LinkedIn, and now that edge includes access anywhere, anytime with the BlackBerry mobile device."
"Facebook is pioneering new ground; Facebook is forging new relationships; Facebook is securing financing that values the company at unprecedented levels, and many analysts think the vision and speed demonstrated by its leadership bodes well for the company and for marketers eager to reach a high net-worth demographic on this social networking site". read the rest of the story here.....
The Remaining Strategies of The War for The Network
Several outcomes from the recent moves are likely to occur. These include:
- The BIG start on an acquisition frenzy to begin to roll up the space. The BIG will now include Facebook with the MSN checkbook.
- Google is likely to press very hard to position its new network to compete or dominate Facebook's momentum
Additionally Facebook, with its partner MSN, are likely to have several other strategic surprises up their sleeve including the following five possibilities:
- Creative user incentives for economic return for participation in "The Facebook Ad Networks". Another shot at Google
- Facebook sets up a customized "Business Network" separate but integrated with its existing platform and in partnership with MSN
- Facebook launches a unique "search and find" anyone on any social network anywhere with open connections between any other network and theirs. Yet another shot at Google
- Facebook launches the pre-eminent mobile networking platform following form with its existing and future segmented network offerings
- Facebook goes public fueled by MSN's support and together they begin rolling up smaller network players to create the first truly global social network serving multiple segments of interest by topic, geography and industry.
The frenzy has begin and the war for position is clear. Who will win? What likely moves will they make? Who will follow the Art of War the best? Care to suggest any of your own?
What say you?