’ve been having a few conversations recently where people have asked my opinions on what the next ‘big’ thing will be. Most of the time they’re asking me in terms of what’s the next Social Media platform to keep an eye on…because Facebook is clearly struggling, hmmmm!
My response in most cases is that, unless Facebook gives up I genuinely can’t see anyone ‘usurping’ them anytime soon. Everyone was banging on about Google+ a few months back and like I said at the time…why would I leave Facebook to go somewhere where none of my friends are? Because G+ is useful for talking about issues relating to my job? That’s what I use twitter for, and so far the only people I’ve circled on G+ are the same people I follow on Twitter and they’re much more active on Twitter!
Simply put, Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon and no matter what they do people will stay there. Currently everyone is complaining about Timeline, someone said to me the other day that they don’t like Timeline because they don’t want people to see everything they do…erm, well don’t put it on Facebook then! People always complain about changes Facebook make and a few months after those same people are the ones proclaiming their love for the new features and can’t believe they ever lived without them.
It’s simple human nature that people don’t like change, but then grow to love the new features and forget what they used to have. Case in point, when I was at uni everyone complained when Hollyoaks changed their theme tune…yet I suspect nearly every single one of the people who complained would now be unable to hum the old tune and would probably end up humming the current theme.
With the recent acquisition of Instagram, Facebook clearly isn’t showing any signs of staying still and being happy with what they have! Things are going to continue to change and Facebook will continue to grow, incorporating (Spotify) or assimilating (Instagram) other companies as they go.
From a single users perspective, this just means periods of annoyance followed by a realisation that you’re better off then you used to be. Maybe one day a change to Facebook or Twitter won’t result in constant updates and complaints…but I doubt it!
For a company, it’s vital to look at Facebook and think about what they’re trying to achieve and how you can be part of that from the beginning not just joining at the end! For me, Facebook wants to ‘take over’ the digital world, it wants to not just be the place you go to talk to friends, or upload pictures…but it wants to be the place you go to do online shopping, to buy gig tickets or even apply for jobs (although they’ll have to really go some to beat LinkedIn with that!). I think you can see this really starting to push on through Timeline!
What Timeline has enabled companies to do is provide a much richer experience for customers on their page. A couple of the best I’ve seen are Red Bull (https://www.facebook.com/redbull?ref=ts) and Manchester United (https://www.facebook.com/manchesterunited). Spotify have also done something similar with their page. So if brands are starting to put all this information onto Facebook, and they already have the ability to interact with customers and add other pages to provide extra information…why would you continue to have a corporate website as well? Is it not doubling work to have all this information on your website and Facebook? Would it not make sense to just focus on one? If you’re focussing on one, where would you focus? I know where I would!
Obviously for big brands this would be quite a big jump, requiring a change to marketing and any packaging. However, if you’re not as big as those above why not be ahead of the curve. Lead the way don’t follow. In situations like this, it’s sometimes better to be a slightly smaller company as you’re able to take bigger risks without it being national news if something doesn’t go quite to plan! A recruitment company called andsome have taken that risk and moved their corporate website onto Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/weareandsome). It’s a bold decision, but one I think will be followed by a lot of companies over the next few years.
Do you agree with me, do you think corporate websites are on their way out…or are they here to stay? Let me know!