This is the exact same advantage that Microsoft had in the enterprise market. Sure, competitors could release enterprise products and have some success, but if Microsoft decided to copy you, they had an army of enterprise sales agreements already in place and would eat 50% of the available market in the first year. The network effects of their enterprise sales channel -- which existed at nearly every company in the world thanks to the ubiquity of Office documents -- made it very, very difficult to compete with them for a long time.
Network effects are much stronger in the consumer space (mostly because the consumers are poorly educated about their choices, and often have little incentive to become informed). Which is why we're seeing Facebook eat the world when it comes to consumer communication platforms.
FB users have high switching costs in terms of opportunity costs (by leaving FB they forego value) and those opportunities costs are large mostly because of network effects.
In the case of Microsoft, you say "network effects of their enterprise sales channel," when you really mean Microsoft had a large customer base to which they could quickly and easily deploy new products. The fact that one business had a sales agreement with Microsoft didn't necessarily increase the value of a sales agreement with Microsoft for a different business. (Maybe there are some network effects there, but they aren't obvious and I'm fairly sure you aren't talking about them.)
I think Microsoft did (and still does) benefit from network effects in a different way, related to collaboration: the more people who can open and use an excel spreadsheet, the more valuable it is to learn and use excel.
- Positive vs. Negative
- Same-side vs. cross-side
Network effects can be negative: if more people dine at your favourite restaurant you have to wait longer for a table. That's a negative same-side network effect. The reverse is true for facebook: more people signing up means more people to socialise with.
When you add in app developers, then cross-side effects come in to play. More people using facebook is a positive cross-side network effect, because more users == bigger market for developer apps. It's mutually positive too: more developers means more apps, more choice etc. For advertisers, the cross-side network externality is only positive from their perspective: they like having a larger audience to advertise to, whereas users generally don't like ads.
All of these combine to make facebook one hell of a sticky, and lucrative platform.
For example, they downgrade YouTube videos in people's feeds. There's no reason for that if they have a better product.
Which is the case with windows. Because the product has more users it becomes more valuable to developers/business, which then becomes more valuable to users.
95% of the office workers in the developed world are still sitting in front of a Windows PC, logging into an AD, doing stuff with Office, etc. Every significant business has an EA or Select Agreement.
Big tech companies will only acquire companies that bring something to the table that they can't get by locking 4 of their own engineers in a closet for a year. That means a brand or patents. Any software-based tech can be copied for around a million bucks without much issue.
The other thing here is that in cyberspace, the effects of the network are enforced only by artificial legal barriers like the CFAA that make it a felony for users to contact web sites in a manner that the operator dislikes. The CFAA essentially takes the ToS (and sometimes even less; just an operator's expression that he no longer wants you to access the site can suffice the CFAA's standard of "exceeding authorized access") and evals it as part of the criminal code. This is the law under which Aaron Swartz was prosecuted.
Facebook has invoked this power repeatedly, most notably against Power Ventures, which was destroyed in court for allowing users to export their own data only, the data in which they have an exclusive copyright interest. Power infringed Facebook's copyright because it downloaded a page into RAM (RAM copies that exist for milliseconds are eligible for copyright protection per MAI v. Peak) that contained Facebook's IP in order to extract the user's information.
It's why you never see third-party exporters and have to rely on the crappy ones that Facebook/Google offer and bury so they can avoid flak.
Things would look much different if our law wasn't so thoroughly committed to entrenching the extant digital players. There's no reason that another application should be legally restrained from multiplexing/multicasting one's Facebook feed.
However, they're ALSO preventing a bunch of old farts like myself from signing up for Snapchat accounts so I can put mustaches on every car that drives by, and preserving it as a "cool" haven for "kids these days," thereby increasing Snapchat's value to its existing userbase.
They're really concerned about the amount of information these big data stores have on them.
They're worried even more that there is a government snoop checking in on them or another unknown.
Personally, I have gotten more and more leery of putting data online. I deleted my Facebook 7 years ago. Twitter is strictly read-only for me. I share kid pics directly with family via private storage I control.
Really needs to be a peer-2-peer suite of "social" tools that cut out middlemen as much as possible.
Had she not been using it I would have written it off as confusing UI and "what's the point."
I avoid Facebook for many reasons. You have to be careful about who your posts are seen by. It's public by default. I have colleagues, family, and people I've met just once or twice on there. Any posts I make need to be inoffensive and anodyne. Scrolling down a Facebook feed fills me with FOMO, jealousy, rage, or other negative emotions. It's obvious they don't actually want to improve the core product. I feel used.
First of all, on human timescales (i.e. lifetimes) monopolies can be very long lived. The Standard Oil Trust was very destructive for decades, and though it might have collapsed due to natural causes, that destruction could have lasted for decades more. Which leads to the second problem: those long periods of stagnation are multiply destructive: not only do the victims pay a premium (which they could have spent on other goods), the monopoly's existence retards innovation.
The final irony in the case of Standard Oil is that is was worth more to John D Rockefeller after being broken up than it was when integrated. The government did everyone a service by breaking it up.
"In 1904, Standard controlled 91 percent of production and 85 percent of final sales. Most of its output was kerosene, of which 55 percent was exported around the world. After 1900 it did not try to force competitors out of business by underpricing them... Due to competition from other firms, their market share had gradually eroded to 70 percent by 1906 which was the year when the antitrust case was filed against Standard, and down to 64 percent by 1911 when Standard was ordered broken up"
sounds like if you stop trying to compete other companies will
Rockefeller paid ransom sums for decades to buy out competitors (most of which were junk operators at best) to keep them from tanking the price of oil by dumping new strikes onto the market (a very frequent occurrence). His entire goal was oriented at market share + stability. The history of oil prices back then, was truly horrific, it was a constant boom and bust cycle that tortured most companies in the oil sector. Once Standard Oil accumulated enough of the market, including distribution (not as often talked about, they overwhelmingly controlled distribution), it could heavily control market pricing without having to own all the market. Their dominance in distribution is arguably the single most important thing they accomplished after the refining consolidation. With that gatekeeper status, they were able to demand other firms they didn't own adhere to their pricing levels, or have their distribution access cut off. In that way, they figured out how to stabilize the market pricing, without having to continue to own ~90% of the refining market.
The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890 but it was a toothless tiger until Roosevelt assumed the office of president in 1901. Prior to then, the main case involving the act was successful in using it against labor unions. Following 1901, litigation broke up a number of companies. This is important.
Investigation at the time indicated that Standard Oil employed predatory pricing up until 1900. Following 1900, they resorted to a shell-game to obfuscate what was going on.
Amongst the first wave of anti-trust litigation targets were J.P. Morgan's holdings. He was cornering the railroad and steel industries successfully, the biggest coup being the formation of US Steel in 1901. The other crown jewel in the strategy was oil, namely Standard Oil, which operated synergistically with J.P. Morgan's holdings in rail and steel. During this time, we had characters like Elbert H. Gary, CEO of US Steel, who held cross-industry dinners aimed at setting uniform pricing for steel and providing management across businesses with consolidated positions against labour organization. While it had been growing at a steady clip beforehand, Standard Oil's value began to skyrocket as of 1901 with no real change in its core business practices.
The SCOTUS' exposition of the issue does a great job showing how Oil's monopoly was mediated in large part through Rail (the case also indicates that practices wrt pipelines were analogous to rail):
"the bill alleged that the combination and its members obtained large preferential rates and rebates in many and devious ways over their competitors from various railroad companies, and that by means of the advantage thus obtained many, if not virtually all, competitors were forced either to become members of the combination or were driven out of business"
Can't transport oil if you don't have rail cars. Can't build rail cars or rail if you can't make steel, and you can't run your trains or your steel plants without oil.
In 1902, the Roosevelt directed the AG to commence litigation to break-up of the J.P. Morgan headed railroad trust - Northern Securities Company. This matter was such a high priority that the case was resolved and reported through all levels of appeal in 1904. As a side note, this is mind-bendingly fast for competition litigation, even today.
With the threat of anti-trust litigation preventing outright predatory pricing and "competitive" rail back on the table steel and oil began to lose their moats. But "competitive" rail wasn't very competitive, and continued a legacy of providing obfuscated sweetheart deals to Standard. They got broken up 7 years later as a result. By the time steel's litigation hit in 1920, it had proper competition and did not get broken up.
Standard Oil was a monopoly for over 20 years. There are countless monopolies that have gone on that long or longer, only to be broken up by government eventually.
I love the free market, but between regulatory capture, legal costs, and aggressive pricing structures, monopolies can be absolutely unbeatable within the career lifetime of any person.
But it seems many aspects of capitalism lend themselves to winner take all mechanics, resulting in large companies (airliners and telecoms and entertainment companies) constantly merging and reducing competition. So without the FTC, we might have even more monopolies. Without these laws, Microsoft would be the only PC company (MS bailed apple out to keep some "competition" around) and Intel would be the only manufacturer of CPUs (likewise for Intel and AMD).
"Natural monopolies arise where the largest supplier in an industry, often the first supplier in a market, has an overwhelming cost advantage over other actual or potential competitors; this tends to be the case in industries where fixed costs predominate, creating economies of scale that are large in relation to the size of the market, as is the case in water and electricity services. The fixed cost of constructing a competing transmission network is so high, and the marginal cost of transmission for the incumbent so low, that it effectively bars potential competitors from the monopolist's market, acting as an early insurmountable barrier to entry into the market place."
There's a good argument to be made here they all software sub-markets are natural monopolies.
But we'll never know, since nobody else can reasonably enter the market.
No one except Zuckerberg, I'd think.
However, it raises an interesting question: how exactly would you break up an entity like facebook? It doesn't seem like a business that would lend itself to subdivision.
That way each competitor could offer its own interface and algorithm for filtering people's feeds, and show their own ads (or offer a competing business model). If users opted to have their posts on the competing site automatically sent to Facebook (so their Facebook-only friends could still see them) then Facebook would be free to data-mine those posts still.
The next question is, could someone code a browser extension or other tool which makes this possible without needing any changes from Facebook's side? If it would break the Facebook terms of service, would someone crowd-fund the anti-trust lawsuit to override those terms?
Then mandate interoperability with an open standard, like a phone network.
I don't think that makes much sense for breaking up something like Facebook.
Unlike a phone network, Facebook's service is not rooted in geography. Yes, it's users have homes and geographic locations, but those are just arbitrary account attributes, just like their name or if they like the Denver Broncos.
You might as well have one post-breakup company start out with all the A-M accounts and the other the N-Z accounts.
If you had to divide up the users between N successor companies, I'd probably be best to do it based on friend-graph connectivity, with mandated interoperability between them. That might make the successors sticky enough to survive.
So your premise is true(ish), but the conclusion can't be drawn from it (and your comparison falls apart) because we don't need strict dependency on geography, only a (relatively strong) correlation.
Hell, the main benefit I see to instagram is that their geotagging improved immensely.
Network effects. Together everyone hates it; individually, there is nowhere else for people to go without losing the majority of your social network. Facebook has people; its software is utterly irrelevant to why people use it.
John Maynard Keynes
EDIT: And downvotes, too? I've been insulted, and I don't take kindly too it, yet I deserve to be downvoted? Thats ridiculous.
I don't have faith that the free market will solve any problem well if we just wait long enough though. Nor do I believe that it's wise to just sit around and refuse to fight injustice because the problem might solve itself out in 50 years.
In this specific case, I think the network effect of social networks (ie it only makes sense to use a given social network if the people you want to communicate with use it as well) is so strong that the unregulated free market is not a good model to solve that problem.
There was no scenario under which the electric car was going to take off until lithium batteries were radically cheaper and available at truly massive scale. Mass market consumers do not want to drive EVs that get 50 or 80 mpg equivalent and cost $50,000.
Tesla came along only when it was finally becoming possible to do a nice EV thanks to falling lithium battery prices, at a low enough price point that well off consumers could afford them. The rest is history.
Could you explain a little more? I have not heard any credible evidence to support this theory.
The current understanding of US antitrust laws is similar. The Justice Department pursues antitrust actions only if the end consumer is being hurt.
Not really. Snapchat is getting copied because its functionality enhances the strategic value of Facebook's core assets. There are plenty of other businesses that would be easy for Facebook to copy technologically, but doing so would undermine the value of Facebook's core assets. Basically Snapchat brought a knife to a gunfight, with the expected results.
Now, one could posit an argument to the effect that monopolies in areas that are highly subject to network effects are inherently anti-competitive. But AFAIK that would be a rather novel argument and it's hard to say what the remedy would even be.
> Billing will start on October 1, 2017, with the first bill issued on November 1, 2017.
We probably won't continue even at $2/user/mo, only about ~10 people use it and mostly just to post industry stories and/or press writings about our company.
For it to be viable (for us), they need to add in meetings a-la Google Hangouts, clone Slack, encourage employees to "Go Live" at events we do.
This sounds like somebody planted a seed of FUD about snapchat that ignores what's a bigger question in my mind -- are the users who typically choose Snapchat now choosing Facebook?
I don't believe alot of Facebook narratives. Most of the people in my social circle count as part of their 1B messenger users, but all of their substantive communication is happening on iMessage. When you have billions of users, it's hard to make definitive statements about network effect, as even small variations are big. Facebook's network effect doesn't seem to have as much mojo as Microsoft or AOL did in the old days. Hell, AOL had millions of people paying $20/mo for a decade for nothing.
Per Google, they have 1.86B monthly users.
Per this article, Only 60% of Facebook users use messenger, Only 1/3 of Facebook users use instagram,
Only 1/3 of Instagram users use stories. That's pretty telling to me, especially considering all of the ways they trick you to click on things and gin up the numbers.
But more importantly, do you realize nobody forces you to post or share anything? And even if you do, it's very easy to restrict permissions to a few selected circles. Your family members send friend requests? Fine, add them to the "restricted" list. A lot of people (me included) have stopped using the main newsfeed, and I notice that most of the picture sharing is done on Instagram nowadays, but it's still a convenient tool, especially when you have friends on every continent. And it's really not that hard to keep things private.
Facebook's problem is not that they don't have features, it IS the network that is stopping kids from signing up. Snapchat is a safe haven for creative, throw away content that isn't indexable, searchable, doesn't have a social graph or a permissions model.
I've also had plenty of people not trust the permissions. Like, posting pictures from a party, people will freak out when I tag them ... and even when I tell them that I've locked down the album permissions, they don't trust that some error down the line won't expose everything.
This is basically what people use private groups for. It feels more intuitive than posting everything as a standard post with restricted permissions.
> I've also had plenty of people not trust the permissions. Like, posting pictures from a party, people will freak out when I tag them ... and even when I tell them that I've locked down the album permissions, they don't trust that some error down the line won't expose everything.
No offense, but they may also not trust that you've configured the permissions correctly, or that your definition of "locked down" is one they think is appropriate for the photo or will be appropriate for the photo in a year or ten years.
None taken, that's a good point ... upon reflection, I'd probably feel just as hesitant about someone else doing the same thing.
+1 for this. (My Anecdote as a 23 year old) Everyone posts/looks to/at snapchat. Most use instagram (but only post public stuff rarely as it is for "high quality stuff" which tends to follow the 20/80 rule (20% of the people post 80% of the content (I haven't posted in months))). Facebook groups/messenger are also used by most of my friends for casual group chats and planning events as you can find anyone and it is more private. Facebook news feed/Instagram stories/twitter are used by less than 10% of people I know.
The reality is that humans want different sub-networks AND different identities to be within them.
I mean, just look at us here on HN: It's so separate from Facebook that it's an entirely different site, your comments here won't ever accidentally show up on Grandma's feed... yet most people here still prefer pseudonyms.
By having so many different people from different circles all ready to receive whatever you blast into the social space of Facebook, you either have to really water down your ideas or constantly put out fires.
As CodeCube said in this thread; despite all the problems with Google+, the circles idea of sharing different posts with different groups was something I really wanted as well. Too bad only tech enthusiasts picked it up...
That question really answers itself.
Managers at other companies give lip service to developer velocity, but in the end, they still end up creating the same kind of bureaucratic slowdowns that have hobbled the industry for decades, mostly because they can't let go and delegate real decision-making power to ICs. It's "Yes, we care, but bullshit, so we need process" over and over, stomping on the face of human ingenuity forever. Facebook means it when they say they care about developer productivity and code velocity, and that should terrify everyone else.
There's rarely a single reason for the success of a big beast such as Facebook. Many older social networks had a 'network', Google Plus had good engineering and design... but HN's disdain for all things FB gravitates them towards choosing the least charitable reason so that they can minimize the credit that Zuck et al need to be given.
There's copying and then there's copying well and fast. Copying isn't bad in and of itself - not at all.
>> If you think it's easy then you haven't developed consumer applications at that scale and quality before
>> And if you don't understand why scale matters then you simply don't have experience with it.
2. You said that I think only a handful of Facebook engineers are the gods of scalability. I never said this. I simply intended to give credit where credit is due. They executed extremely well (in my opinion) and they deserve credit (in my opinion). Also - engineers are not the only ones who help scale a product through infrastructure. As I mentioned before, there is also product architecture that needs to be considered when introducing a new feature. The larger question becomes How does this new feature work to provide value in the context of all of the other things that X does?. For something as complex as Facebook or Instagram, this is hard. A very simple example that illustrates this is user education. It's far different when you have a few users on a simple product that does 2 things and you introduce a 3rd than when you have millions of users on a product that does a thousand things and you introduce the 1,001st.
I don't understand why you're on a mission to discredit people's work or the challenges they face when building something. It's possible to not like something and still recognize that building that thing was an achievement in some way. It doesn't have to be either or.
If you have counter-arguments to what I'm saying and they're informed from your experiences or what you've learned, I'm genuinely interested in hearing them. I don't care much about being right as much as I do about pushing the conversation forward. But I think we can both agree that saying "cringe" doesn't really help anyone learn anything or push the conversation forward.
Let Snapchat be Snapchat, Twitter be Twitter, etc. The constant media frenzy over how fast everyone's growing and if they stop growing (aka Twitter) it's the end, just seems bonkers to me. The only reason for this rationale is Wall Street and public stock offerings. Twitter's stock price will sink if they don't continue a hyperbolic growth path. Never mind if the product is good, or if the existing users are happy. I would actually argue that Twitter's product has been floundering and its existing users feeling the blues BECAUSE of Twitter's need to drive growth. If Twitter had decided a couple of years ago to focus on making its existing userbase happy as well as third-party developers contributing to the capability of the network, Twitter would be in a stronger position today.
So I don't agree at all with the premise of this article. Facebook isn't "beating" anybody. If everyone suddenly leaves Snapchat and goes back to using only Facebook, that's not because Facebook is evil, it's because Snapchat looses its ability to develop products people want. If everyone suddenly leaves Twitter and goes back to only Facebook, that's Twitter's own fault, plain and simple.
And both Twitter and Snapchat knew the game they were playing by raising so much venture capital at such high valuations. They could have stayed private longer, raised less at lower valuations and laser-focused on product and making nominal returns. But they chose to go the other route and that means they have to deliver on outsized profits eventually.
There is also a zero-sum game in the war for how I choose to stay in touch with my friends. For each person, they are going to choose one or maybe two ways to do group updates.
SnapChat is this quirky interesting app for people you know and actively want to share things with. You all see each other's stories and have chats that disappear and don't mean anything, in fact a lot times the messages disappear by accident and that's the fun of it, it's an ongoing dumb chat for friends.
I actually find it interesting that SnapChat doesn't push you to connect with other people by e-mail or other oddball algos, it's mostly just through phone number- your uncle's friend can't "friend request" you. It's one of the few apps where if I want to connect with you, I gotta really want to connect with you and if I don't, good luck finding me!
Facebook is a phonebook. It serves a different market, the way LinkedIn serves a different market. The way Twitter serves a different market
Facebook can copy all the features of SnapChat, infact, great! I hope SnapChat can get some royalties for the idea, but I'll reckon a large subset of FB users don't have SnapChat, nor want to even bother messing around with its "confusing" UI. It's nice that this subset can have these new "toys".
SC users aren't going to abandon it for FB though, it's still just THAT vanilla social site where, literally, everyone and your mom is on.
That's correct because their valuation is currently based on future growth. If their growth just stops and let's say they barely add (and let's say they even keep) users, what would the value of the company then be? Certainly a lot less than the currently traded value.
The second question isn't relevant at all. Essentially no one is saying there is something wrong with competition.
I have absolutely no interest in rebuilding or managing my social network across numerous sites or services. The value offered would have to be truly extraordinary to get me to invest the time and effort. I only barely care enough about Facebook as it is to maintain that.
For instance, Instagram might have been a Facebook killer, which is why they bought them early. Oculus Rift might also have been (but that's a stretch I think). Just to play it safe they also bought them.
So what are the features that a minority of the market cares about at this point that might spawn a competitor that would challenge FB?
Someone dedicated to privacy, perhaps. Someone with a model that eliminates advertising, maybe, even if you have to pay a membership fee. Perhaps someone who does a better job of incorporating articles from third party sources without all the spam/fake news that clogs feeds. Maybe someone who does a better job of using the camera, or mobile-first/only technology, like pure audio instead of text/pictures.
Consider that when Google decided to invest in Google+, they dove immediately into demanding more from customers than Facebook did with their real names policy.
With all its success, Facebook's profitability still comes into doubt from time to time because they aren't squeezing their customers as they could. Which is altogether is to say that all Facebook's rivals have scheme to extract more from the customers than Facebook and thus it's similar to, but as extreme as Craiglist rivals - they can never be as good they because they're constrained to come with a model they expect will eventually make more money.
Both Pinterest and Nextdoor go deep on an area of social that Facebook is too broad for and they do it better than Facebook arguably can.
They woke up one day and realized people now consume media through their phone; but they were already unseated at that point (their phone ecosystem, due to tie ins into the Windows system, could not compete in the brand new iOS/android/blackberry world of the time; and shortly after, neither could blackberry)
I believe zuckerberg is branching into anything he thinks might at some point be "the next thing", including VR, because of how Microsoft missed the train.
It seems Microsoft believed they can always throw enough money while playing the long game and get a dominant position (as happened with internet/ie, Xbox, etc) - but it seems this strategy has failed miserably with mobile, tablets and may eventually cost them a lot more dominance.
Still, from my perspective, Microsoft in the 90s seemed as unstoppable and ubiquitous as Facebook does today - actually, it seemed more unstoppable than Facebook, because back then we weren't yet used to the possibility of scrappy startups turning into billion dollar companies overnight.
And I'd also suggest the behavior of Facebook shows this to be their own assessment as well. I'd suggest that the headline is wrong; Facebook beats every rival because anyone who becomes a rival they simply buy; this effect is more important than coopting features because it puts a ceiling on their competition. The feature cooption is more about minimizing the number of companies they may have to buy.
When Microsoft was dominant, basically a PC implied that the operating system came from Microsoft. Very few people had the option of not running DOS or Windows. People would regularly send Word or Excel document and there were no reasonable alternatives to Office to deal with those.
And without the Internet, finding details on how to avoid Microsoft was also hard.
Corel, Word Perfect, Lotus... others.
I'm not sure there's much in history to compare to Google. Their individual market share in search, browsers, ad networks, phones, and email is impressive. But more interesting is the synergy between them.
It scares me a bit how much we rely on them to not abuse that power. Not just in a consumer sense either. Think of some of the slimy things that were done over at Uber for example, like the "God View" app, tracking journalists, etc. If Google wanted to, there's any number of awful things they could do.
As for adding features to browsers, they all did that. Netscape tried to build its business on "looks better in Netscape", and Microsoft simply implemented support for Netscape features (much like it had implemented support for 1-2-3 and WordPerfect features in Office).
There was never any prospect of "a proprietary web owned by Microsoft". In the mid-90s, Microsoft did have plans for a web-like network as a sort of distributed OLE (Blackbird), but quickly went "all in" on the web. The closest was the use of ActiveX controls on the web, but other browser makers could have supported ActiveX if they had wanted to. (Firefox decided against.)
Otherwise, neither Firefox nor Chrome existed when the anti-trust case ended, and there has never been any prospect of Microsoft killing either. It was Netscape that featured in the anti-trust case, and Microsoft won the browser case 2-1 on appeal.
Can we please not indulge in this RMS-esque infantile name calling?
It's just that the rest of us moved to other places and leave them defending their hill.
And so the network effects remain.
- None of my sister's wedding pictures are on Facebook because of this reason – It was said loud on the mic during the ceremony.
- My mother is very afraid of having her credit card stolen by a virus in Windows, that's why she always... refuses to install upgrades. It's not so bad: Better an old Windows than clicking on every Update button their find.
- I don't watch people using their phones much, but when I do, I often ask them why they use one workaround instead of going straight to some place. "I was told it's better for privacy" is a frequent answer.
I'm illustrating that non-tech-savvy people aren't ignoring the "privacy" signals. They may be doing the wrong thing in the moment, but they are severely frightened and they do look for ways to protect their privacy.
Most of the time it's fine, but sometimes the fact that someone's in a certain place with certain people, or not in another place with other people, is a sensitive issue. Sometimes it can even become a sensitive issue later on (imagine being tagged in a wedding reception five years ago, standing next to a then-unknown Martin Shkreli).
Most people have to many 'friends' to share anything more personal.
I think one could build a strong userbase in countries where people want privacy from their governments, on top of the "HN crowd".
Isn't hackers congregating on a new agg site like Hackernews where other hackers are already hanging out the same network effect in action?
It's not even intended to be a facebook competitor really though, it's obviously for an entirely different audience. It's text-only and intended to be for longer-form discussions than quick updates and the like. Please check it out!
we haven't won yet, but we will.
If Snapchat goes down (almost guaranteed at this point), it's going to be universally blamed on Facebook. That blame - along with the likely howls from Snapchat and its backers - will intensify anti-trust attention. The bundling premise that got anti-trust attention with Microsoft's Windows monopoly, will draw the exact same attention to Facebook leveraging its network to smash competitors while it has a monopoly or near-monopoly in social (Instagram is dramatically reinforced by Facebook).
For example, Facebook messenger stats seem gamed to me. I never really use it, but every time i accept a friend request it pops up a fake messenger notification telling me that i can message that contact (opening messenger of course).
Furthermore the quality of news feed has dropped of a cliff for me. It's really just posts from pages and sponsored posts now. Very few people actually post.
Interestingly the same network vs feature idea can be said about LinkedIn. Recently they rolled out messaging feature on the main UI like what Facebook had, pretty good move to increase user engagement.
Social networking (just as Search for Google) is just data collection and distribution for its real product, ads. I wouldn't be surprised to see Comcast take a big bite of this market in the near future too (since they can now compete via data collection and distribution).
There was some number next to my name, next to my friends names, god knows why its there, i'm assuming something to do with how many snaps you send.
The navigation.. just really unintuitive. So as a user it makes me not want to explore the app, hye i got a snap from a friend, okay watch send a "haha nice" message and forget about the app.
While it's kinna scary to watch how much power FB has, I can't help but think its snaps own damn fault for making something that does one thing, and for not taking any measures to make it do more, to get me to stay with the app, to get me to use it more.
* until *
it's normal for majority of consumers to have an AI / middleware that can choose the best option without the consumer needing to know it's a monopoly player or not (brand)
Example: I want to create an event with my friends at a local pub.
In 2017, I create a facebook event and invite my friends. I use Google maps or Yelp to find an appropriate pub.
In 2040, I tell my Mantle / AI by voice, "make an event for me and friends at local pub, moderate price, close to downtown." Without me ever knowing what services are used, I'm told to meet my friends at some location, and they are told as well. I never have to interface with Facebook, Google, Yelp, or anything but my Mantle.
I cannot wait for this, as I am completely sick of Facebook and Google fucking up basic functionality and eating competitors. I also don't want to do the work of constantly knowing what is the best competitor to use for simple services.
a) their growth rate would not have been much smaller
b) they would probably have just as much or greater user engagement than what FB has today
then the actual question should be:
"What is actually going on which allows such acquisitions to bypass the antitrust laws?"
I'm ready for some more noise on this issue, publicly.
(but then how would they make money... hmm)
(repurposed a prior discussion but arguably more relevant here!)
One thing I've found super interesting/impressive about Snap is that it didn't try to outcompete FB in terms of sheer network size for its usage stickiness, and instead turned smaller, tighter and more private networks into a differentiator, while at the same time providing advertisers/brands with a competitively massive audience - not an easy thing to identify, much less execute on. TBD if that differentiator is enough to keep them alive vs. FB's more traditional network-effect-driven advantage, which will be hard to beat on its own terms. I think Snap's success will depend a lot on its ability to avoid being tempted to play that game (see: Twitter!).
random other thought: this all also reminds me that Mark Zuckerberg has not made a peep about wanting FB to be thought of as a "utility" in a long time (or maybe he has and I just missed it...but couldn't find any recent mentions, see this talk from 2013: https://techcrunch.com/2013/09/18/facebook-doesnt-want-to-be...), probably in part because they are now a lot more at risk than ever before of being regulated like one. Also kind of funny to hear him talk about "we don't want FB to be cool" too, because now it seems like FB very much wants to be cool again now that Snap has become cool and has threatening user counts.
Being first to market with an accurate social graph consisting of real-life identities is what gave Facebook its advantage.
Also, Linkedin was earlier, but real-life identities was first, because of understandable purposes.