Thursday, May 29, 2008
If I Owned Facebook
I would do 5 things:
1) Real Email
Email within Facebook is nice, but I should be able to get email outside of Facebook. As a matter of fact they should make it real email where I can send and receive email just like normal. I just looked at www.facemail.com is available. Buy it and give everyone an address like firstname.lastname@example.org. Email has got to be the number one activity on the Internet, this is your virtual address. Facebook will create real staying power by giving people their address to call home.
2) RSS Reader
This one is such a no brainer I can't believe it. Now, I'm talking talking about an RSS reader application that posts feeds to your profile. I'm talking about a program like Google's Reader where I can import feeds for me to read. Then if I like something I can either star it (then it shows up on my profile) or share it with my friends. When I share I should be able to leave a comment and then allow others to comment back. Again, I see this as tool for me, not just to show off on my profile. Inside this reader I would embed the normal news feed within Facebook. I might even include email and notifications. Then this becomes the homepage where I consume and share content. This is content from all over the Internet, not just what I do on Facebook.
3) More Servers
Facebook is slow. Really slow. Honestly, it's not getting faster and even though they are buying servers they really need to ramp this up. People get frustrated with this and they need to get rid of this problem.
4) Universal Search
Facebook has a ton of information. They have pictures, hobbies, wall conversations, email. Well, I want to search this! I want to be able to easily find old conversations or events. With all this information inside of Facebook, in a formate they control, this should be easy. Heck, team up with Microsoft's Live search to get this done. Furthermore, Facebook (via Live Search) should be able to pull in search results from the outside world. Can you image finding my LinkedIn profile result when you search my name? With all the demographic, behavior and interests information these pages should be perfect. Oh yeah, the ads on the right hand side of these search results should also be the most relevant of any search engine.
5) Make nice with Google
Look, I know Microsoft owns part of facebook. I know they think they're competing with Google to become the backbone of the web. I know these things. However, this doesn't mean they can't work with Google to make something even more awesome. It just isn't worth making enemies in a virtual world where open source and sharing is become a fundamental tenet of the web.
It's a tall order, I know. However, if Facebook can accomplish these I foresee a great future where Facebook truly becomes a power player worth multiple billions. If Facebook doesn't figure these out, I don't know how long it will be before they become out done by someone else. Being a one-trick pony at the level they're playing at just isn't good enough.