Re: Facebook As AOL – Better Than Sex?

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Re: Facebook As AOL – Better Than Sex?

Oliver Marks puts together a nice piece about the rise of Facebook juxtaposed against what people were saying about AOL back in the mid-to-late 90s.

I see his point, that looking at the Facebook revenue model leaves one wondering where the true impact of the social network is. The ad model does not appear to be generating the revenues of a Google. They are not the giant retailer that Amazon is. So, the question is, does the “platform” play a $500 Billion company make?

Like AOL, Facebook has a platform that must continue to draw people away from the broader internet. Like AOL, Facebook must continue to interest platform players in providing content there rather than elsewhere. Like AOL, Facebook must continue to be the go-to place for young, cool, next wave-seeking collectives.

Interestingly, there is no monetary lock-in as AOL could once claim, i.e. you would spend time on AOL because you had presumably paid something for it (100 free hours notwithstanding).

As one of my professors once said to my class in b-school back in 2002 as he explained “lock-in”: A good example of “lock-in” is AOL Instant Messenger. Because everyone uses it, everyone uses it.

Is that Facebook’s future?


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I like winning. From baseball and Uno to Trivial Pursuit and working with clients - it doesn't matter. I founded vConstruct to help companies better compete because I like seeing others win too. A big Red Sox fan living in Austin, Texas, I'm also the proud recipient of multiple consecutive presidential fitness awards from grades 3 through 8.

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