re: Facebook Phone Faces Uphill Battle
Facebook wants a branded cellphone because their biggest growth area right now is smartphone users. Sometime around 2017 the two-billionth smartphone is expected to be manufactured and Facebook wishes to remain relevant in a world where these handheld computers doubly outnumber laptops, tablets and desktops combined....
...Relevant and let's admit it, dug into their users like a sandflea at the same time.
A branded Facebook platform you see implies a "captured" user, one who doesn't feel free to leave the branded service, one who may in fact be paying his ISP fees to Facebook themselves rather than to the local wireless carrier, storing his files on Facebook cloud servers and running Facebook-specific productivity apps; and yet who may feel rewarded for all of this encirclement by the feeling they are a *good* customer of a *good* company.
Consider how tobacco used to be marketed in America (and still is most other places) -- endless redemption certificates, promotional offers and points collection schemes. "Hey sixteen more packs and I can afford that leather steering wheel cover! I love Marlboros!"
Today Amazon.Com "captures" its regular users in a similar web. Think how many people you know who exclusively buy online from Amazon, who dote on the Gold Box Specials and their Prime status and dance up and down when they get a special offer notice. And how many of you are on your third Kindle not because you wore out the first two but because Amazon showers you with paperless reward coupons for owning and using a new Kindle?
So a picture of a profitable Facebook in five years would probably involve hundreds of millions of hopelessly conditioned/compulsive Facebook users who dote on their cheaply-built, frequently-replaced Facebook Phones like Xoanons from on high, fingering them like chainsmokers fishing for a fresh pack as they pay just enough attention to where they are walking/driving/performing heart surgery to make it through to their next fix of Farmville, sexting or Farmville Sexting Edition....
Brr! Anybody else get a cold chill up the back?