Looks like Facebook is finally going to have an answer to Wall Street’s big question about how it is going to make money. The official invitations to members of the press have been sent and the conference is on November 15 at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan. Although a bit delayed, majorly due to Hurricane Sandy, this conference will be centered around Facebook Gifts, the company’s e-commerce initiative.
The company began rolled out its Facebook Gifts app on Sept. 27, but only to members in the United States. About 2 weeks back, the company added the ability to donate to a charity.
Facebook’s popularity has been going down and I have also written about it multiple times. But this is a very smart initiative by the company. In case you are not aware about how Facebook Gifts work, here is the link that explains it in detail
It’s too early to say but if introduced in the right way, being very simple to use by the user and intuitive for the sender and the receiver, it is very scalable. Social gifting has been a huge market and it always will be.
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Facebook’s stock is up to around $20, after the Tuesday interview of Mark Zuckerberg. It rose to about 8% after the interview and some days back it was down to around $17.7. The company’s value is down to about 50% of what it was at the time when its IPO was launched. Can it go any lower? I say yes, it will definitely go lower. But is underwriting by Facebook’s key Wall Street underwriters JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley hurting the market sentiment? I feel, it is more than what meets the eye. Facebook has been in trouble since a long time now and I had written about it long back.
All facts had been pointing in that direction. Of course underwriting hurts the share value big time, but there are more basic reasons that might be affecting the company’s stock value. Firstly, I would like to tell you that there are 2 more expirations due by November 17 which will result in an availability of over 58% of the total shares, that is about 1.58 billion shares. With such amount of shares floating in the market, the share value is bound to go further down. Then, there are 2 lookups after November 13 that will liquidate the market with another 12% of the stocks. I have a feeling that the share price would drop to $7 by the end of this year.
The signs were clearly visible. As per the Distimo report, 2011-2012, Facebook’s app is no longer the most downloaded Social Mobile app. Facebook’s popularity is dropping in individual markets like Spain, Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. Another survey by eMarketer this year revealed that Twitter beats Facebook for Mobile Advertising Revenues, despite of Facebook’s earnest efforts to improve its advertising revenues. There are other facts which state how the once famous and loved-by-all Facebook is in trouble. Though there are some endeavors being pursued by Facebook but will it be able to come back to its original share price. I sincerely doubt that.
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It might not be the right time to say it but I believe the $100 billion valuation of Facebook might be a bubble which would burst soon and will burn the pockets of many. I have read that the number of registrations is increasing but these are the people who are new to the concept and are excited. The people who have experienced have are getting bored of it and moving on.
The very idea was to stay connected to friends. Most of the people have a lot of friends on Facebook, a lot of people in their friend list I would say. Spending a lot of time on the website means you are spending less time on other activities including hanging out with your real friends. Everybody wants a couple of close friends but Facebook is distancing you from those friends and your subconscious mind may not like it.
It has become more of a business tool. What do you do most on Facebook? Express your feelings with the world? Wouldn’t you like to do it with your closer group with either? Share pictures, videos and other things? Remember how forward text messages were a fad once? The point I am trying to make is that people are moving on. There are so many updates everyday that you don’t feel like checking all. Moreover you have to filter the meaningful ones from a clutter of game score achievements, news articles, forward messages, pictures, videos, brand advertisements and what not. It’s getting boring. Then you have advertisements. In the status messages and on the side bars and we don’t like advertisements in our private groups. Is the company so desperate on making money with advertisements? I believe it is losing more than it is making. It is no longer private or interesting. Instead it is noisy, commercial and public now. Privacy is another issue.
Facebook has a lot of data now, a lot of personal data. One of the biggest sources of income for the company can be to sell this data. But will the data be useful for the companies. I say, to the extent their customers are still hooked to the website. Once they start to move away, the companies will have to do more to retain their customers.
Google+ which has been investing a lot and trying hard to rub shoulders with Facebook may actually be wasting a lot of money. By the time they reach close to where Facebook is today the whole concept of online social networking, what it stands for today, might be antiquated. People would go back to small personal groups and social networking websites might serve all other purposes bar social networking.
The timing of the royal wedding couldn’t have been better, especially for Coca-Cola. Wondering where is the connection? Let me explain it to you. London Olympics is a year away and the royal wedding has turned the spotlight on the British capital. Capitalizing on it, Coca-Cola has launched its Olympics campaign, which includes an “eight-pack” of the American athletes who will appear on its packaging and other promotional campaigns for the next 1 year.
These athletes are from backgrounds like diving, boxing and tennis and are potential medal winners for the country. With a huge fan following on social networking sites like Facebook and twitter, the company has got a head start to its London Olympics campaign. These athletes will be the company’s brand ambassadors of active living and they will encourage people to lead an active and balanced life.
This might be a bit early but I feel this is going to get a lot bigger as the games approach. The campaign has already started. A photo shoot was held in Boston some time back. Their pictures will appear on the Coca-Cola cans and bottles. Other activities like in store marketing are expected to begin in the first half of next year.
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My favorite of the month
The media industry is going through a challenging phase. Despite of the ongoing economic recovery the media industry is facing some serious problems. Traditional Media such as Television and Newspapers are now facing revenue problems as opposed to the previously faced audience problems. New media like the internet have far more graver issues to handle, the biggest of them being their struggle with the risk of unsustainable business growth. To add to the problem, the ad revenues are also falling. Although the media industry has found a new way of disseminating information via Facebook and Twitter but it has its own challenges.
The industry as a whole is going through a transformation phase from traditional to modern. Newspapers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete against its internet counterparts. Traditional radio broadcasting is taking a beating from satellite radio and digital mp3 players. The demand is not growing as quickly as the availability of content due signifying intense competition. Mass Media is losing its influence. With the rise of Web 2.0, the net itself is becoming a mass medium.
Is it time for us to bid adieu to traditional media channels and accept the fact that modern media channels are far more superior to their traditional counterparts? I feel that the traditional media channels are in a danger of being extinct!
Now that you have some fan following, the next question is how to make that page a selling point? A lot of people are actually confused as to how an entire transaction can take place on Facebook. The reason of this confusion is simple. A lot of companies that have Facebook pages have features up to adding an item to a card. If somebody wants to pay then they are redirected to a different page and hence the confusion. Well, we will answer this question but we would like to start from the beginning of where we left before.
After you have some fan following on your Facebook fan page you would most probably like to make that page a selling point. Well, that is not very difficult. All of us have seen how items are listed on eBay and Amazon. There are applications on Facebook that can do that for you for free. You can create a similar looking page which will have all the details of your products. Give them offers that aren’t available otherwise. Entice them to buy from this page. Give them the option to view reviews from people who have bought and used the product.
Now, there are applications on Facebook like Payvment which can be used for fcommerce. These applications utilize PayPal’s ‘Adaptive payments’ API and gives the user a complete Facebook shopping experience. More importantly, once you have added the application to your fan page, it gives you options of adding and managing your products within the application. There are other tools like Beeshopy which can be used for the same purpose and which provide some additional features like product listings. All in all, these applications have made Facebook a big market which can be used as a one shop stop for everything! It is a hot new channel for big and small merchants so what are you waiting for? Join the bandwagon.
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