What Facebook needs to stay relevant.
Sure there's talk of a Facebook phone, a few updated apps, and a possibly revamped site UI. But common sense and analyst will probably tell you that Facebook isn't just going to release a few products out of the blue, it's in dire need to do so. Why, you may ask?
The answer will probably make or break Facebook in the near future, the company needs to remain relevant. It needs to affirm to it's investors that it CAN make money. And while ad revenue sufficed for the Facebook of old, the company needs a better way to make money, a relatively easy task considering it's one billion users.
How can Facebook make money? How can it assure it's investors of a steady stream of cash flow? There is a multiplicity of ways to do so in today's world, things not out of question considering their ease for such a company. These are a few of my favorite options for the company.
Paid features for users
Facebook has shown in the past that it is willing to let users pay their way to use a feature. Just last week, Facebook allowed people to redirect their messages to Mark Zuckerburg's personal inbox for a solid $100. Perhaps a decent subscription charge to use the site sans ads would ensure a new small source of income for the company.
A completely revamped Facebook
After getting invited to tour the new Myspace, I saw much room for improvement in what Facebook can do. Facebook not only needs a new modern UI, it needs to revamp it's API and reel in even more developers,(a big part in why Facebook succeeded in the first place), reassuring them that it's the best passport to login to Internet sites and apps. Why not try to capitalize on Twitter's big fail last summer?
The company's tepid and seemingly timid steps into the sea of mobile services has not done the company good. This would be an easy territory to conquer considering the lack of many other company's embrace of mobile apps and services. Facebook needs to allow users to tie in their photos and videos, and become a catalyst for sharing. Once Facebook can deliver on this, it can move on to creating a successful base for it's phone.
Rumors of a coveted Facebook phone have never arisen into reality. There's no arguing that Facebook's issue with a phone is that it never embraced mobile apps and services completely. But if that changes, a Facebook phone could compete with other brands and platforms. Facebook already holds a decent-sized app market (did you even know that existed?), could successfully intertwine Facebook services and the device together, but most importantly, has an audience of a billion people to advertise it's phone.
Just a few thoughts on Facebook's exit from a fad to a serious contender in mobile, societal, and sharing heavyweight. Do you think a Facebook phone would succeed? Also, a bit of shameless promo here, but perhaps you'd like to take a look at my tech blog for a few similar things.