Why Facebook will crumble…but become more successful

This seemed like a great day to post an opinion piece on Facebook, being that it is the social network’s 10th birthday. Happy Birthday! Now on to my opinion.

Facebook grew incredibly fast and continued to add content and tools to it’s platform. What started as a simple and clean version of Myspace grew into the king of all social networks with over a billion users. However, the teens that once drove the site to heights unimaginable by Zuckerberg himself, are now leaving the social network for smaller “one trick pony” type of social networks like Instagram…which Facebook owns. I think this revelation is one that Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of: In order to succeed and become a giant leader for years to come, Facebook will eventually have to dissolve into many separate entities. If you look at the market of internet companies that tried to add a bunch of tools to one platform, most of them have eventually failed. However, if you step back and look at the success of Google, the solution seems very obvious. What started as a simple search engine, and is now the leader in nearly everything, created it’s empire all on separate pieces to make up its puzzle of domination.

Now that social media is here to stay, and embraced by everyone, people are tired of the “mega-mart” of social medias. They want to customize their social media toolkit however they want, and Facebook will have to accept that. I think that when Facebook decides to dissolve into many little pieces, that will be when the social network king gets elevated to new heights.

What wearable tech means to social media

Maybe Mitchell Kapor said it best when he said, “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” With all that tech out there gathering data like an episode of Hoarders, what is next in the realm of information collection? My guess is the ever-growing-in-popularity field of “wearables”. For those who have been disconnected from the cyber world, let me explain wearables.

Have you ever seen those individuals that are wearing what looks to be an upgraded version of a slap bracelet? That is an example of a wearable. Those wrist bands are actually activity trackers that put the common pedometer to shame. FitBitJawboneNike, all have products in this competing field, with each having their own perks. Other examples would be Google Glass and all the “smart watches”. Google Glass is a device that you wear like glasses and grants you the ability to be one step closer to becoming a cyborg. The “smart watches” are the love-children of your smartphone and a watch.

So why are these gadgets special? Why do these gadgets matter more than any other cool nick-knack from Brookstone? Short answer: the data. In the world of digital marketing, data is king. Thanks to social media, digital marketers can now target tiny niche communities such as “mothers who own minivans and have children who play soccer”. Next time that mother logs on to her social media, a bright new ad for a youth soccer ball is in her news feed. Data opens the doors for a new age of specialized target marketing and wearables are only going to add to that targeting.


Targeting with Wearables

Marketers will be able to pinpoint their target audiences much more granular than before. Here are a few examples of tools that will be gathering data in your wearable:

-          Altimeter: Can see if you climb a lot of stairs, or if you fly a lot, or if you are in to mountain climbing.

-          Health meters: Can track your movements, stress levels, sleep patterns, etc.

-          Microphone: Can detect noise levels in your daily environment

-          GPS: Can determine where you are, how much you travel, and if you spend your days indoors or outside

-          Air meters: Can detect the air quality of the areas you frequent, the temperatures, etc.

Picking through that data may seem useless, but if you think about it, it is really a gold mine. Better yet, it is a diamond mine. Fly a lot? *Step in* luggage companies. Enjoy mountain climbing? *Step in* Patagonia and Northface. Stress levels high? *Step in* Pharmaceutical companies. Tough time sleeping? *Step in* Tempurpedic. Spend most of your days outdoors? *Step in* Boot companies. Bad air quality at home? *Step in* Home air purifier. Make sense?

This “nano-targeting” potential of wearables will give marketers and companies endless possibilities. Although this “lifestyle-tracking” isn’t fully available yet, it is only around the corner. Most wearables need to figure out their privacy concerns associated with sharing all this data. But considering how insanely quick the market grew, it wont be too much longer.